McDonald shines as Roar down Jets in A-L

A first-half strike by in-form forward Scott McDonald has secured Brisbane a 1-0 A-League win at a locked out CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Scott McDonald.
Scott McDonald. Picture: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Veteran forward Scott McDonald's fine goalscoring form for Brisbane has secured the Roar a 1-0 A-League win over Newcastle.

The 36-year-old's first-half strike on Friday night at CBUS Super Stadium, his fourth in three matches, was enough to secure the Roar their third-straight win and keep them in fourth place.

The loss is the Jets' first under Welsh coach Carl Robinson, ending a six-game unbeaten run and all but extinguishing any hopes the ninth-placed team had of sneaking into the finals.

The round-27 match, brought forward with both teams' scheduled opponents Wellington and Melbourne Victory in isolation due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, was played behind closed doors at the Gold Coast stadium.

Despite the lockout, a handful of Roar fans could be heard chanting and supporting their team from outside the ground throughout the match.

The hardy faithful had something to cheer for their efforts in the 16th minute when ex-Socceroo McDonald was found on the edge of the box and arrowed a shot into the bottom corner.

The Jets toiled hard but former Roar striker Roy O'Donovan was often isolated up front, as the visitors struggled to break down Brisbane's defence.

The Irish veteran's 35th-minute chance was as good an opening as the visitors created in the opening half, but Roar skipper Tom Aldred recovered to deflect O'Donovan's shot wide.

Aldred should have extended the Roar's lead early in the second half but couldn't beat Jets goalkeeper Lewis Italiano after being given time and space inside the penalty area.

The Roar were almost made to pay for their failure to finish when another ex-Brisbane player, Dimitri Petratos, found O'Donovan at the back post in the dying minutes but the Irishman's sliding effort rebounded off the post.

That chance was almost the last action of the match as the Roar held on to stretch their unbeaten run at home to seven matches.

"It's a huge three points," Fowler said.

"They've come here on a great run ... the manager's got them playing really good stuff. They're a real handful on the pitch but, look, we're not a bad team ourselves.

"It was a good performance. A good, solid, professional performance."

Robinson said his team simply hadn't performed well enough to earn anything from the match.

"There was a number of players who were just a little bit below their level and obviously when you gift a goal, and you can't get one, you don't deserve to win the game," the ex-Welsh international said.

Robinson's team have a quick turnaround before hosting Melbourne City on Monday at McDonald Jones Stadium, while the Roar's next game might well be on March 28 against Sydney FC, with a new date for their trip to Melbourne to face Victory yet to be set.


AAP