Melbourne City FC has returned to the winner's list with a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.
After a goalless first period, the deadlock was broken as Josh Brillante's well-timed volley was rebounded onto the post and into the back of the net off the back of Brisbane shot-stopper Jamie Young.
City set up a massive clash with Perth Glory at HBF Park next Sunday 8 March as the competition at the top of the ladder continues to heat up.
Head Coach Erick Mombaerts made no changes to the starting XI, as previously suspended defender Harrison Delbridge returned to the bench.
Despite dominating the first half in front of their home fans, City struggled to break through goalkeeper Jamie Young’s incredible first 45 between the sticks.
At the 27th minute mark, Adrian Luna took his chance from the edge of the box following a corner, but Young stood tall to deny the attacking midfielder.
A few minutes later, central defender Curtis Good tried his luck as a long pass from Craig Noone found Good’s head in the box but the keeper deflected the shot.
Noone continued to create chances for his teammates down the left wing, finding first Rostyn Griffiths at the 34th minute mark and then Florin Berenguer at the 41st, but City were unable to find the opener.
Luna had another opportunity in the 43rd minute as he fizzed his free kick from the edge of the area but Young was ready for it, diving low to his right to intercept.
City entered the second half determined to make a difference and were eventually rewarded for their efforts. A clearance from a Brisbane defender found Josh Brillante’s feet on the edge of the box. The midfielder fired a fierce strike towards goal that bounced off the post and off the goalkeeper’s back, before trickling into the Brisbane net.
The Roar looked to fight back as a quick counter-attack led by Scott McDonald forced Tom Glover into a swift save with just under 20 minutes to play.
Five minutes later, Brisbane player Jay O'Shea earned a free kick from the edge of the box, but it struck the side netting as City secured an important three points at home.
City will travel to Western Australia to take on Perth Glory at HBF Park on Sunday 8 March in what is set to be a mouth-watering top four clash.