Brisbane Roar striker Henrique was sent off for slapping, but it mattered little as the defending A-League champions romped to a 3-0 victory over Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
With the Roar already 3-0 ahead thanks largely to a brace from Besart Berisha; Henrique was shown a straight red in the 65th minute for his swift but stern slap to the face of Perth skipper Jacob Burns.
The slap was an act of revenge for Henrique after he copped an accidental elbow to the face from Burns just moments earlier as the pair contested a ball.
Perth couldn’t capitalise on the numerical advantage, with Brisbane’s fourth win on the trot lifting them to within three points of ladder-leading Central Coast, who face off against Melbourne Heart on Sunday.
Perhaps even more importantly, the Roar (41 points) are now five points clear in second spot, leaving third-placed Wellington (36) and fifth-placed Glory (34) with plenty of work to do in the final four rounds.
And in an added bonus, the Roar emphatingly proved they could flourish without attacking linchpin Thomas Broich, who missed the match with a shoulder injury.
Brisbane slumped to five straight losses earlier this season when Broich was out injured, but showed no signs of vulnerability against the Glory.
Henrique scored the opener in the 21st minute, but it was Berisha who deserved much of the kudos after his beautiful through ball sliced open Perth’s defence.
The fiery Albanian had one of his own in the 59th minute when he trapped Henrique’s cross in the box, held off defender Bas van den Brink before whistling the ball past Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
And the double was complete when Berisha tapped home a simple volley from point-blank range in the 63rd minute after Vukovic charged off his line to defuse Nick Fitzgerald’s run.
But in front of 10,367 fans, Henrique stole the headlines with his moment of madness, ruling him out of next Friday’s home clash with Melbourne Heart.