Matildas star scores first goal since A-Leagues return as Brisbane come from behind to beat Wellington

Check out all the highlights from Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix in Round 11 of the Liberty A-League

Goals from Tameka Yallop and Kijah Stephenson have handed Alex Smith his first win as Brisbane Head Coach after the Roar came from a goal down to beat Wellington Phoenix 2-1.

The away side took the lead in the 20th minute through Isabel Cox’s powerful header but they were pegged back before half-time as Tameka Yallop scored her first league goal since returning to the club.

Brisbane then came flying out of the blocks to start the second half and took the lead just 21 seconds after the restart through Kijah Stephenson and her crisp strike would ultimately prove to be the difference between the two sides.

Watch tonight’s episode of Dub Zone LIVE from 8.30pm AEDT!

The win is Brisbane’s first in nine games and it moves them up into 8th on the ladder while Wellington tasted defeat for the fifth time this season and now sit 10 points behind league-leaders Melbourne City.

Despite the home side controlling the early possession it was Wellington who had had the game’s first real chance.

Brisbane shot-stopper Jordan Silkowitz was called into action, producing a smart save to tip Annalie Longo’s 18th minute shot over the bar before she then produced an even better save, this time diving away to her right, to deny Macey Fraser the opening goal.

However the opener would soon arrive as Isabel Cox muscled her way into space inside the box to head home Mikaela Foster’s in-swinging corner in the 20th minute.

The home side then hit back in the 34th minute with Tameka Yallop bagging her first goal of the Liberty A-League season and it’s one Wellington keeper Rylee Foster won’t want to watch again.

Put under pressure by the Brisbane press, Foster got caught with the ball at her feet and as she attempted to clear her lines she could only pass to Yallop who delicately dinked the ball over the keeper and into an empty net.

Both sides went in level at the break but Brisbane took the lead just 21 seconds after the restart as Sharn Freier drove towards the Wellington byline before pulling back a cross into the path of Kijah Stephenson who fired the ball past Foster to make it 2-1.

In the 70th minute Ayesha Norrie almost made it 3-1 but she saw her thumping, long-range effort crash back off Rylee Foster’s left-hand post and away to safety.

The lively Freier was then involved once again, this time beating her defender before putting one on a plate for Tamar Levin, but the substitute thrashed her shot against the bar with the goal gaping.

Wellington’s Michaela Robertson then wasted a glorious chance to level things up, dragging her shot wide of the far post when put through one-one-one with ‘keeper Jordan Silkowitz in the 82nd minute.

The away side were then left fuming after Isabel Cox’s shot was seemingly handled on the line by Brisbane defender Leah Scarpelli but no penalty was awarded and the home side hung on for a vital three points.

The talking point

This game was changed in the space of 21 seconds.

From Macey Fraser taking a speculative effort at goal straight from kick off in the second half, Brisbane Roar rallied and soon the ball was in the back of the Wellington net.

It was a moment of traditional, old fashioned wing play from Sharn Freier that helped tee up the winning goal but more importantly, it handed Alex Smith his first win as Brisbane Roar coach and it could now give the Queenslanders the added impetus they need in order to begin climbing up the ladder.

The star

Sharn Freier’s second half performance was a joy to behold.

Her excellent assist for what proved to be the winning goal lifted her side and from that point on the 22-year-old smelt blood in the water every time she sensed the opportunity to take on her marker.

The left winger created more chances (4) than any other player on the pitch at Perry Park, completed more dribbles and also won more duels than anyone else in what was a terrific display both offensively and defensively.

What it means

After securing their first win since Round Two Brisbane now move up into eighth spot on the ladder, three points behind fourth-placed Wellington, and will be full of confidence heading into their Unite Round clash with Newcastle Jets at Leichhardt Oval.

As for Wellington, the ‘Nix will have to pick themselves up ahead of what is the second of three-straight away games when they play Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.