A-LEAGUE champions Brisbane Roar have failed to close the gap on leaders Central Coast after a 1-0 home loss to Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Jets, who hadn't won away from home since last January but have now lost just once in 10 away clashes against the Roar, took the lead in the 23rd minute through a clinical right-foot finish from Jobe Wheelhouse.
The winner came for the visitors after being awarded a free kick at the 35-yard mark, with a fluent three-pass interplay between captain Wheelhouse and Ben Kantarovski giving the former space in behind Roar skipper Matt Smith, where he rifled his shot past a diving Michael Theoklitos.
Mohamed Adnan had a 90th-minute free in an identical place to where he struck his injury-time winner against Sydney FC in Brisbane's last home outing, but the wall rose to deny a repeat of those heroics.
After tit-for-tat chances through the opening 45 minutes, the hosts were reinvigorated after the break, creating a multitude of opportunities, including a brilliant pass from Erik Paartalu that had Henrique in with no one to beat, before an incorrect ruling from the linesman halted play.
Thomas Broich was typically invaluable for Brisbane, manipulating his opponents like puppets, while Jacob Pepper was dangerous for the victors, particularly in the opening third.
Brisbane looked in sync from the first minute when Mitch Nichols found space in the box, but despite their continuity and some dangerous build-up on the right through Ivan Franjic, Nichols and Broich, it was the Jets who were able to work the keeper hardest in the opening 10, with Francis Jeffers twice teeing Pepper up for a crack.
Both sides had chances within the opening minute of the second half - Henrique blowing his lines for the Roar and Ryan Griffiths thwarted by Theoklitos - before the home side began to assert dominance on the contest.
Henrique was incorrectly ruled offside with no Jets and an open net in front of him at around the 50-minute mark, and then the lively Brazilian was twice denied by visiting keeper Ben Kennedy from short-range flick-ons.
Paartalu, impressive youth-team regular Nicholas Fitzgerald and goal-shark James Meyer all threatened to equalise, but the Jets defence scrambled admirably to the final whistle.
Brisbane Roar 0
Newcastle Jets 1 (Wheelhouse 23')