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Roar confident in A-League finals scrap

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1st March, 2020
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Brisbane have returned to the scrapping pack around the edge of the A-League top six, but coach Robbie Fowler says their finals destiny remains firmly in their own hands.

The Roar suffered a 1-0 loss to Melbourne City, with goalkeeper Jamie Young’s 55th-minute own goal proving the difference at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

The defeat leaves Brisbane in sixth place on 26 points, just two points above Western Sydney and Western United and six ahead of Melbourne Victory.

“Of course I’m confident. You’ve seen our performance and you’ve seen us a few times. Look, we’re not a bad team,” Fowler said.

“We’ll always be in there or thereabouts, we’ll always have that little bit more in terms of effort. But there’s still a lot to play for.

“We weren’t getting carried away when we had good results and we won’t get carried away because we’ve had a (bad) result. Our boys are confident, we’ll go into the next games, and we’ll do obviously a lot of work on the opposition, and we’ll go and try and win the games.”

The tenacious win was important for City, who regained their three-point buffer on Perth and Wellington, in their bid for second place.

City will travel to Perth to face Glory next Sunday.

“We know that every game is difficult,” coach Erick Mombaerts said.

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“Let’s see, Perth – we have to keep focused on what we have to do to win.

“This was an important game because I said to the players – ‘maybe we can recover second position but to do this we have to win.'”

Earlier on Sunday, Max Burgess scored a first-half hat-trick as Western United snapped their winless run with a 6-2 victory over Central Coast at GMHBA Stadium, condemning the Mariners to their seventh consecutive loss.

United’s Besart Berisha delivered a brace, with Andrew Durante also finding the back of the net, while Gianni Stensness scored a terrific bicycle kick and Chris Harold converted from the spot for the Mariners.

On Saturday night, Andrew Nabbout was the hero for Melbourne Victory in a comeback win over Adelaide United, keeping their faint finals hopes alive.

Kristian Opseth drew first blood for the Reds, then Marco Rojas equalised in the second half, before Nabbout scored a spectacular 91st-minute winner.

Earlier on Saturday, Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s stunning opener and Roy O’Donovan’s late finish helped Newcastle prevail 2-1 over Perth, with Neil Kilkenny scoring from the spot for the Glory.

Western Sydney kicked off the round by upsetting Sydney FC 1-0, courtesy of Mitch Duke’s powerful header, in Friday night’s Sydney derby.

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