Brisbane Roar's A-League resurgence rolled on as Robbie Fowler's side beating Western United 1-0 at Ballarat's Mars Stadium on Sunday.
Young striker Mirza Muratovic handed the visitors the lead in the 61st minute and an uninspiring United were unable to claw their way back into the game.
The win gives sixth-placed Brisbane a four-point buffer on United, while they are now just two points and goal difference behind Adelaide and Wellington.
Mark Rudan opted to debut Japanese signing Tomoki Imai on the right side of a back three, while Thiel Iradukunda earned his first A-League start in defensive midfield. Scott Neville returned from suspension for the Roar and slotted into defence for Robbie Fowler's side.
United spurned two early chances in a first half where both sides looked off the boil. Connor Pain blasted a close-range effort over the bar in the opening minute. Eleven minutes later, Jerry Skotadis whipped in a clever free kick, with Andrew Durante failing to put away his chance at the back post.
Brisbane had a good chance on 33 minutes when Jay O'Shea found Dylan Wenzel-Halls at the far post, but the forward hit a shot straight at Filip Kurto. O'Shea then put his own chance high and wide in the 49th minute.
The Roar brought the contest to life with just over half an hour to play. Brad Inman robbed Imai of the ball in defence, charged forward and slid the ball across for Muratovic to smack home, just nine minutes after the 20-year-old entered the fray.
After taking the lead, Brisbane controlled the game and rarely looked troubled.
Kurto denied Aiden O'Neill in the 85th minute, then Muratovic in the dying minutes, with the Roar left to settle for a valuable 1-0 win.