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Jan 26, 2011

Meyer double gives Roar 2-0 win

A late double to substitute James Meyer enabled Brisbane to equal Australian domestic soccer's longest unbeaten streak as the Roar downed Wellington 2-0 at Skilled Park on Wednesday night.

Meyer's 83rd and 88 minute goals brought to life the 3522 fans and extended the Roar's unbeaten A-League run to 22, the same number achieved by Apia-Leichhardt in the National Soccer League of 1986-87.

Up until Meyer's late glory, the game was heading for a dour draw after Wellington used aggressive defensive tactics to great effect.

Playing on a patchy Skilled Park surface because Roar's home ground Suncorp is out of action due to the floods, Phoenix stacked their defence and gave Brisbane's creative forwards little room to work their magic.

It was particularly notable in the first half when the Phoenix had as many as five players across their last line of defence and up to eight players cramping space in the penalty box.

Wellington, against the run of play, almost broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when Chris Greenacre beat goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos to a high ball but his header passed less than metre outside the right post.

But in the main, it was the Roar who dominated yet they could not convert, not helped by an uneven surface which made the ball bobble around on through passes.

In the end Phoenix became a victim of their own tactics as Meyer's first goal, which was struck from outside the penalty box, deflected off one of the defenders parked in front of goal and left Phoenix goalkeeper Danny Vukovic wrong footed.

Meyer's second goal was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Forward Thomas Broich swiftly moved down the left side of the field and his attempt bounced off the crossbar and dropped to Meyer's feet.

He coolly slotted it in to put the result beyond doubt and give teammate Luke Devere something to remember in his last match for the Roar after he accepted a three year deal to play in Korea.

Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said Wellington's suffocating defensive tactics and an uneven surface made it difficult for them to play to their strengths.

He said he was not surprised by Wellington's negative game plan and had in fact prepared for it.

"It was a night where perseverance was the key," Postecoglou told reporters.

"It wasn't an easy night with the way Wellington set up - they sat pretty deep - and with the way the pitch is, makes it hard for us to play fluent football.

"The pleasing thing for me is we won playing our way."

Wellington coach Ricki Herbert said everything was going to plan before an 'own' goal in the 83rd minute which resulted from a deflection off Andrew Durante.

"I thought we were very good tonight," he said.

"We started quite brightly and at half-time we were more than happy.

"I'm not sure an own goal is tiredness, it was a bit of bad luck and it was the straw that broke the camel's back."

The Roar's next clash is against Melbourne Heart at Skilled Stadium on Saturday, while Wellington tackles Newcastle Jets at home on Sunday.

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