SYDNEY : Top-placed Brisbane, playing with 10 men for 40 minutes, still overwhelmed second-placed Adelaide 4-0 in the weekend`s 14th round of Australian football`s A-League. Brisbane, leading 1-0, seemed galvanized when Brazilian striker Reinaldo was sent off in the 50th minute before sealing its eighth win in 14 games with three goals after his departure.
Matthew Smith scored within two minutes of Reinaldo being shown a red card, then forward Kosta Barbarouses found the net in the 62nd and 67th minutes to put Brisbane`s win beyond doubt and give it a four-point lead over Adelaide at the top of the league ladder. Adelaide led the league when it was unbeaten through its first 13 matches, but has now lost back-to-back games, dropping off Brisbane`s pace with a seven win, two loss record.
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou admired his team`s reaction to Reinaldo`s dismissal. "It was a fantastic response," he said.
"It was like we lifted another gear. "I thought we were untouchable there for 10 or 15 minutes, even with 10 men.
" Adelaide coach Rini Coolen said it was now clear Brisbane is the best team in the A-League. "They were too good for us," Coolen said.
"They`re definitely the best team in the league. They are too good for all the teams.
" A 36th-minute goal to Patrick Zwaanswijk gave Central Coast a 1-0 win over North Queensland, leaving the Mariners third on the table, eight points behind Brisbane. North Queensland was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the 81st minute when David Williams was brought down by Central Coast goalkeeper Matthew Ryan.
Striker Archie Thompson returned from an eight-month injury layoff, but couldn`t help the Melbourne Victory avoid a 1-0 loss to Gold Coast United. Thompson, the A-League`s all-time leading scorer with 49 goals, signed a three-year contract extension with Melbourne earlier this week.
Melbourne had several chances to score, but even with Thompson playing 45 minutes off the bench, couldn`t equalize. Defending champion Sydney FC, which ended its winless start to the season last week, posted back to back wins when it beat Newcastle 1-0.