Western United’s winning run was halted by Brisbane Roar on Saturday with a 1-0 result in Round 21 of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men season.
United struggled to find any rhythm in the game and after the hosts had had two goals disallowed previously, Jay O’Shea found the telling moment of quality in the 81st minute.
Despite the result United remain in seventh place on the table with five matches remaining in the regular season.
There was one change to the starting line-up with Steven Lustica coming into the XI for the first time since early November. The No.10 replaced Neil Kilkenny in midfield who missed with a minor calf strain.
Dylan Pierias also missed out on the matchday squad due to illness, so Sebastian Pasquali and Adisu Bayew both returned to the bench.
Perhaps already acclimatised to the conditions, Brisbane brought the majority of early pressure in the game and were able to pin United back in its defensive structure.
Despite bossing the territorial battle, Brisbane failed to create any major opportunities in the opening 10 minutes, the biggest chance a Stefan Scepovic header that looped wide of the post.
Brisbane had its first clear opening before too long, though, with some neat interplay on the edge of the box seeing Jez Lofthouse eye to eye with Jamie Young, but the latter prevailed with an excellent save before Scepovic tapped in the rebound from an offside position.
United continued to struggle to gain control in the game, putting together only a couple of passages of sustained possession as Brisbane remained the better side.
The closest John Aloisi’s men to opening the scoring was via an inadvertent header by Rahmat Akbari which required Jordan Holmes to react swiftly and stop his teammate from scoring an own goal.
The Roar were pressing the visitors all the way up the pitch and the Green and Black struggled to build from the back as a result, failing to provide any meaningful service to Aleksandar Prijovic and Noah Botic.
At the other end, United managed to defend with relative comfort through a half that produced just one shot on target, though Brisbane did have a shout for a penalty when a shot on goal struck Ben Garuccio on the arm.
The first minute of the second half produced more goalmouth action than the entirety of the first stanza as United immediately picked up the tempo from the kick-off.
Steven Lustica made a burst into the box and saw his shot blocked before Holmes smothered Botic’s follow-up allowing Brisbane to eventually clear their lines.
The hosts went straight up the other end and had an even closer look at goal as they worked the ball to Scepovic who was denied only by a tremendous stop from Young, flinging his left arm up to slap the ball away from back behind his body after his initial dive.
United was finding much more joy in possession but couldn’t quite find the final ball in the box with a number of balls in being cleared away.
There was a sense of déjà vu as Akbari came even closer to scoring an own goal around the hour mark, this time needing a last-ditch clearance on the goal line from Jay O’Shea to keep the ball out of the net.
The déjà vu continued when Brisbane thought they had taken the lead through Jez Lofthouse, but VAR intervened to rule the Roar attacker offside and the goal was chalked off.
Having been thwarted twice by the offside rule, there was to be no denying Brisbane the third time that they hit the back of the net as Jay O’Shea whipped an excellent strike into the top left corner with 10 minutes to play.
United tried to increase the urgency in the closing stages but it was an afternoon where not much went to plan for the Green and Black, bringing an end to the winning streak.