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Oct 24, 2010   |  4:46AM AET

Victory downed by Roar

Victory downed by Roar

The Melbourne Victory’s six-game unbeaten run against the Brisbane Roar came to an end with a 2-1 defeat in a thrilling encounter at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Melbourne Victory’s six-game unbeaten run against the Brisbane Roar came to an end with a 2-1 defeat in a thrilling encounter at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Brisbane took a 26th-minute lead through Mitch Nicholls before Robbie Kruse equalised early in the second half. However, substitute Jean Carlos Solorzano secured all three points for the home side with a 77th minute winner.

Melbourne started the game brightly and looked sharp in the opening exchanges, but it was Brisbane who forced the first save of the match when Ivan Franjic volleyed a long-range effort on target, but Michael Petkovic was equal to the challenge.

Brisbane wasted little time in finding their feet, and started controlling the tempo of the encounter in humid conditions. Thomas Broich could have put the hosts one up after 11 minutes, but pushed the ball just wide of the left-hand upright from inside the box.

Victory were denied after 16 minutes by a fantastic save by Brisbane stopper Michael Theoklitos, when he tipped over a great shot from Ricardinho.

Reinaldo went close for the Roar on 23 minutes, forcing Petkovic to dive to his right to stop his close-range effort, but Nichols gave the hosts the lead after 26 minutes when Erik Paartalu nodded a corner into his path and the young midfielder made no mistake.

Reinaldo again came close for the Victory on 32 minutes, with his powerful header just inches over the bar.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick brought on midfielder Leigh Broxham for Mate Dugandzic in a bid to assert some control in midfield, but 1-0 was where it stayed at half-time.

With third spot on the A-League standings up for grabs, Victory emerged from half-time a different team, and three minutes in they were back on level terms.

Former Roar striker Robbie Kruse found himself on the end of a wonderful move from Carlos Hernandez and Broxham, and he fired a low shot past Theoklitos.

Hernandez’s passing was sublime and Victory’s confidence increased as he gained the upper hand in midfield.

Brisbane could have taken a lead after 56 minutes when a Broich shot was deflected into the path of Franjic who was clear inside the box, but he could only blast his volley well over the bar.

A great build-up from Tom Pondeljak and Hernandez put Kruse through again, however he fired wide of the mark and the 22-year-old was on the end of a great ball from Billy Celeski shortly afterwards and fired his volley into the side-netting.

Brisbane found themselves in front against the run of play on 77 minutes, when a breathtaking run from Luke DeVere opened up space for Carlos Solorzano who fired past Petkovic from inside the box.

Victory could have had an equaliser immediately after the restart but Kruse struck his long-range effort just wide.

A rasping drive from Hernandez forced a great save from Theoklitos on 90 minutes, and the keeper was on hand again just moments later to deny Geoff Kellaway with another great stop and secure three points for Brisbane at the end of a pulsating encounter.

With the defeat, Victory remain in fifth position on the Hyundai A-League standings ahead of their home clash with league leaders Adelaide United on Friday at Etihad Stadium.

Brisbane Roar: 2 (Nichols 26, Solorzano 77)
Melbourne Victory: 1 (Kruse 48)
Crowd: 9425