In by far their best performance this season, the Roar made all the play at Suncorp Stadium and survived a second-half scare from the plucky visitors before logging a deserved victory in front of 13,428 fans.
Maclaren, the highest-scoring Australian player in the competition last season, was the central figure against his old side.
Just days after Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said goals were his only route back into national team calculations, Maclaren toed home an inch-perfect cross from left-back Corey Brown in the 31st minute to open his season account.
Then with 15 minutes to go, he played in substitute Brandon Borrello, who showed great poise to control the ball as he burst into the penalty area at pace and then fired past goalkeeper Liam Reddy into the far-bottom corner.
Coach John Aloisi said it was only going to be a matter of time for Maclaren.
“I wasn’t worried about if he’s feeling nervous or anything like that. He’s been looking sharp,” Aloisi said.
“I just said to him, keep on doing the right things like you have been and the goals will come.
“A goalscorer doesn’t become not a goalscorer overnight. Macca’s a goalscorer.”
Borrello’s strike was the ideal response after Brisbane were punished for being wasteful in front of goal by Nebojsa Marinkovic’s 54th-minute equaliser.
Rhys Williams cut out two Brisbane defenders with a terrific turn-and-pass to tee up Marinkovic, who curled in from the top of the box to level the scores – but despite a busy game from star marquee Diego Castro, it was the only real shot they fired in attack all night.
Perth coach Kenny Lowe had to watch on from the stands as he served the first of a two-game ban for referee abuse, while skipper Rostyn Griffiths was taken to hospital for dental surgery after a collision with Brett Holman and could be in doubt for next week’s home encounter with Western Sydney.
Griffiths lost half a tooth when he collided with the back of Holman’s head early in the first half but also aggravated a neck injury he was carrying from the previous week.
Assistant coach Andrew Ord, who stood in for Lowe, said the Glory had nothing left after chasing the Roar around for most of the afternoon.
“I don’t think we deserved to get anything out of it,” he said.
“It wasn’t down to people taking the foot off the pedal, they just didn’t have anything left in the legs.”
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.