Sydney FC were left to rue a missed penalty as an early Brisbane Roar goal proved to be the difference at Lambert Park, Leichhardt on Sunday.
The Sky Blues enjoyed plenty of the ball and created a number of opportunities but to no avail as a plucky Roar outfit held firm to clinch the win.
With only four minutes on the clock the Roar opened the scoring through captain Benjamin Litfin in the first real opportunity of the match.
Anthony Bouzanis’ goal kick drifted to the Roar captain and he made no mistake as he skilfully lobbed the Sky Blues keeper from distance.
The goal sparked Sydney FC to life and they dominated possession for the remainder of the half. Christopher Naumoff proved troublesome upfront as his speed and creativity caused the Roar countless problems in defence.
Backing up from Saturday’s Hyundai A-League match, Naumoff flashed two efforts wide in quick succession before George Blackwood saw a diving header just saved by the Roar custodian with the crowd on their feet.
George Timotheou made a nuisance of himself on set pieces as his towering frame saw him win the ball a number of times off Sky Blues corners while there were shouts for a penalty in the final play of the half after Naumoff appeared to have been dragged back, but with none awarded the Sky Blues headed in at the interval one goal down.
A brief period of Roar pressure at the start of the second half turned into Sydney FC dominance once again and the Sky Blues should have been level ten minutes into the second period after Blackwood won a penalty after rounding the keeper and being brought down.
Blackwood hit his effort hard and low but the Roar keeper was equal to the task and made an excellent low save to deny Blackwood from the spot.
James Andrew came on in place of Tsekenis with 30 minutes remaining and his speed created a number of opportunities as the half drew on.
Max Burgess saw an effort saved point blank after a fantastic slide rule ball from Blackwood released him before Timotheou headed over from a corner as the pressure told on the Roar defence.
Another questionable moment reared itself with ten minutes to play with the crowd baying for goal line technology after Burgess sidefooted effort from the penalty spot was cleared off the line as it looked to trickle in.
O’Neill smashed the bar late on for the Roar but one goal was enough for the Queenslanders as they emerged victorious in humid conditions.
The Sky Blues next face Melbourne City at Morshead Park on Saturday 24th of January as the league enters the halfway mark of the season.