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2018/19 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Rostyn Griffiths (27')
  • Shayon Harrison (59')
  • Ritchie de Laet (70')
  • Riley McGree (90'+4')
  • Harrison Delbridge (54' OG)

Ritchie de Laet scores stunner as Melbourne City thrash Brisbane Roar

Ritchie de Laet scored a superb goal to fire Melbourne City back into the hunt for a home A-League final, netting in a 4-1 thrashing of Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

De Laet launched a rocket from 25 metres to secure a much-needed win for Warren Joyce's side which all but guarantees City will play in the finals series.

Rostyn Griffiths scored City's opening goal with a feather-light header before Harrison Delbridge netted an unfortunate own goal to bring Brisbane back into the contest.

Shayon Harrison responded well to the setback, volleying home for City's second from a tight angle.

De Laet hit his wonder strike on 70 minutes before Riley McGree curled home a cracker of his own in injury time.

There were plenty of positives for City, including a best performance from French import Florin Berenguer.

The result also casts aside their woeful 3-0 loss to Western Sydney, giving the club another chance to build momentum towards the playoffs.

But the unfortunate reality is that Brisbane barely came to play at AAMI Park, forcing Eugene Galekovic into just a single save all night.

The meeting of City, the league's most possession-hungry side, and Brisbane, Australia's chief counter-attackers, played out true to form.

Joyce's side knocked the ball about without too much harassment, generating not much of note in a low-intensity first half.

The opening goal came from a set piece, with Luke Brattan and Berenguer combining for Griffiths to head home.

After the break, Eric Bautheac's lofted ball put Delbridge in a spot of bother, and the defender managed to nod past his own goalkeeper.

Relief wasn't far away, with Harrison getting around Stefan Nigro with ease to put away Brattan's cross.

De Laet's thunderbolt and McGree's trickery made the points safe, ensuring a week of respite for the under-fire Joyce.

"It's a good scoreline and good performance," Joyce said. "We showed good character at 1-1, [it was] a testing time, a testing moment but Delbridge didn't let his head drop."

The result is City's 10th without a loss at their home ground, underlining the importance of securing fourth place and a home final in the finals.

Roar interim boss Darren Davis, who saw Ruon Tongyik and Henrique go down with soft tissue injuries to worsen the club's plight, said the performance was "disappointing."

"I've got faith in the boys giving their best and they'll continue to do so until the end of the season," he said.

Australian A-League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS