THREE second-half goals have propelled Brisbane Roar back to the top of the A-League ladder after Melbourne Heart squandered a host of first half chances in their 3-0 defeat at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
A brace to Henrique and a goal to skipper Matt Smith left Heart still searching for their first win of the season after four rounds.
Brisbane were missing key personnel for the clash, including Besart Berisha and Liam Miller, while Heart's Harry Kewell failed to make the trip north and was MIA for the third week in a row with whiplash.
The home side were clear favourites but it was Heart that got off to a flying start, immediately putting their opponents under pressure. The visitors carved out the better early chances, with some dangerous balls over the top releasing their pacey attack in behind the Roar defence.
It almost paid dividends within six minutes as Iain Ramsay was put through, but with the goal there for the taking the 25-year-old sprayed his shot wide. Mike Mulvey's men were rattled and a mistake by Corey Brown in midfield saw Michael Mifsud with another one-on-one chance that went begging.
Roar's first opportunity came on 23' as McKay escaped the attentions of several Heart defenders before squeezing his shot the wrong side of the far post.
As the half wore on Brisbane began to find some fluency and Henrique came close to opening his account after some good work by Luke Bratton to win the ball on 32'. A long range speculative effort by Thomas Broich minutes later surprised Heart keeper Andrew Redmayne who took a couple of grabs to gather the ball.
Stung by a lacklustre start to the first half, Roar wasted no time in the second - Brattan dinking over the Heart defence for Henrique who chested it down before firing into the back of the net on 47'.
It was end to end stuff and Ramsay came within a whisker of clawing one back on 58' with a stinging shot off the woodwork.
But it was Roar sub, Dimi Petratos who helped put another nail in Heart's coffin - Redmayne chesting the former Sydney FC player's effort into the path of Henrique who brought up his second on 65' - although there was a hint of offside.
It was all over bar the cheering on 75' when Smith latched onto some impressive lead up work by McKay to thunder the ball into the net for Roar's third.
The result leaves Heart with one of the most unwanted streaks in A-League history - having not won outside their home state of Victoria since December 2011. They remain on two points at the bottom of the ladder while Roar have a one point lead at the top.
More to follow...