Brisbane City recorded their first competitive win of 2015, fighting from a goal down to overrun Western Pride 2-1 at Corporate Travel Management Stadium on Friday night.
A Lincoln Rule penalty edged Pride ahead midway through the first half, however Koh Satake and Antonio Murray struck in the second half to put an end City’s nine match winless streak in all competitions this year.
Early chances were created by both sides as Murray forced a save from Pride goalkeeper Bon Scott before Neilan Brown was denied by the post at the other end.
Pride were relishing an increasingly physical encounter, however clear-cut chances proved elusive throughout.
On 24 minutes, Harrison Sawyer was fouled in the box by Mat Biggins allowing Rule to open accounts from the penalty spot.
City substitute Anthony Poljak made an immediate impact after replacing the injured Chris Toovey on the half hour, calling upon Scott to save from a long range strike.
Further nervous moments followed as Pride survived a goal-mouth scramble, however the visitors maintained the advantage into the break.
However, City restored parity only minutes after the restart as Satake turned in a deflected attempt from Ryan Roderick for his first goal of the campaign.
Murray spurned the chance to secure the lead immediately after the hour after seeing his one-on-one attempt saved by Scott.
But City’s all-time leading PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland goalscorer made amends shortly after – converting from the penalty spot following a Pride handball.
The hosts were forced to survive a nervous finish as defender Kai Smith was penalised amidst a goal-mouth scramble in time added on.
However, City goalkeeper Matt Stein denied Rule’s penalty kick to the delight of the home crowd.
The result marks three matches without a win for Pride and leaves the early-season league-leaders in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table for the first time this season.
Speaking post-match, Pride defender Ajdin Fetahagic lamented his side’s inability to take the initiative in the opening stanza.
“In the first half I thought we were a lot stronger than City were but we still couldn’t create the chances that we wanted,” he said.
Despite his crucial penalty save, Stein was eager to share the praise with the rest of his teammates for the final result.
“I may have pulled off a save to quote-unquote to win the game, but there’s still ninety minutes before that. The boys have been working hard at training and it all came together tonight,” he said.
Brisbane City FC 2 (Koh SATAKE 49’, Antonio MURRAY 73‘p)
Western Pride FC 1 (Lincoln RULE 24‘p)