Brisbane overcame poor form and a terrible home record against Newcastle to win 1-0 on Saturday, as Central Coast went top of the A-League.
The match between Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets sparked into life just before half-time, with the hosts’ striker Besart Berisha converting a penalty shortly before Josh Mitchell of Newcastle and Roar midfielder Thomas Broich were sent off in a controversial incident.
Mitchell gave away the penalty and conceded a yellow card after 40 minutes, before getting involved in a flare up with the Roar’s Broich just before the break, which resulted in both players being dismissed.
Five minutes before half-time, Brisbane’s sustained possession finally paid dividends, as Broich fed Jack Hingert in the box. Hingert cut inside and Mitchell brought him down with a stray right leg for a clear penalty.
Roar marksman Berisha made no mistake from the spot, finishing calmly low and left past Jets goalkeeper Matthew Nash.
What had been a match played in the right spirit flared up just before the break, as Broich body checked Mitchell after a pass out of defence.
The Newcastle defender charged at the German in response, knocking him from his feet, and within seconds Erik Paartalu had clattered into Mitchell as players from both sides converged in an angry huddle.
Mitchell received his second yellow and was dismissed, as was, mystifyingly, Broich, who was given a straight red card for violent conduct from referee Brenton Hayward.
Paartalu, who was perhaps more deserving of a warning than Broich, escaped punishment altogether.
Earlier on Saturday, Adelaide took the lead in their match away to Central Coast through Bruce Djite’s goal 17 minutes into the clash at Bluetongue Stadium.
The hosts levelled through Josh Rose on the stroke of half-time, before Nick Montgomery netted the winner for the Mariners with 14 minutes remaining.
Central Coast end the day top of the table on 20 points, one point ahead of deposed Adelaide.
Brisbane’s win saw them climb to sixth, three points back from the fourth-placed Jets.