SYDNEY (AP) — Luke Brattan's 25-meter strike in the second minute of stoppage time gave A-League leading Brisbane a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory to seal the regular season premiership with three rounds to play.
The win left Brisbane 10 points above the second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers on the A-League standings at the end of the 24th of 27 rounds, allowing it to lift the Premiers Plate and join the Victory as the most successful A-League clubs with two premierships and two championships.
Brattan limped from the field at halftime with a hip injury and was not expected to return for the second half. But he managed to convince coach Mike Mulvey to allow him to return and quickly produced a brilliant individual goal.
Brisbane was repeatedly denied by Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas, who made eight outstanding saves before being beaten by Brattan's long-range winner.
"To be honest ... I was always going to shoot," Brattan said. "I just kept my head down and tried not to hit it too hard.
"It was great to get it in and a bit of relief but now we're going to concentrate on finals."
Mulvey said Brisbane could not afford to relax in the remaining rounds of the regular season.
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