An injury time winner by winger Samual Sibatuara sealed the points for Brisbane Roar in a tough Foxtel National Youth League clash against Melbourne Victory at Dunmore Park on Saturday.
As a draw looked likely deep into added time, Sibatuara raced onto a through ball from fellow winger Shelford Dais and angled a right foot shot past Victory keeper Lucas Spinella and into the far corner of the goal.
It was the second of the match for Sibatuara, who opened the scoring in the 18th minute after a clever midfield run and an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty box.
While his brace of goals secured a deserved three points for the Roar, it also saved any blushes after the home team wasted a glut of possession and several clear-cut chances in the first half that could have put the game to bed before the break.
Victory emerged much stronger after halftime and turned the match into a tough arm wrestle.
Striker George Howard, who several times had found gaps in the Roar defence, put his side on level terms in the 69th minute when he ghosted in to side foot into the net from close range after a low cross from the left.
The Roar could have gone to the lead two minutes later when they strongly appealed for a penalty when Sibatuara was felled from behind inside the box after dribbling past several Victory defenders.
But referee Dylan Lambert waved play on to the dismay of the Roar players and fans.
Roar dominated the opening period but Victory had the first shot of the game when Lucas Derrick set up John Maclean but his shot was well saved by Roar keeper Fraser Chalmers.
The lapse reignited the Roar’s concentration and they dominated the half from there on.
In the 10th minute Spinella made consecutive saves off crisp shots from the Roar’s Mitchell Hore then Stephen O’Neill.
The home side maintained the pressure and finally broke the Victory defence when Sibatuara rewarded his side’s domination. Another goal appeared likely as the Roar peppered the Victory goal with shots on target and fractionally wide or high.
It came as no surprise when the Roar’s Nic D’Agostino put the ball into the net from close range after tremendous work on the right by Dais, but the offside flag was up.
Roar had another chance two minutes before the break when Sibatuara stretched out to toe-poke from close range, but his effort went straight into Spinella’s arms to ensure the visitors went to half-time fortunate not to be two or three goals behind.
A more committed Victory came out in the second half and the match at times got rough.
Cards were handed out to the Roar’s Sandro Pasalic and captain Luke Pavlou, but there was dismay in the 72nd minute when no card was issued after Roar striker Nic D’Agostino was felled in a brutal challenge.
D’Agostino, who had been dangerous throughout and put a second-half shot onto the upright, had to be subbed off after the tackle.
After having little to do in the first half, Roar keeper Chalmers was called to action several times in the final minutes, tipping a powerful long-range shot over his bar. He then raced racing off his line in the 89th minute to smother a determined Damien Miskulin, who had weaved through the Roar defence and was about to shoot.
Young Roar 2 (Sibatuara 18’, 90+3)
Melbourne Victory Youth 1 (Howard 69’)