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Late Berisha goal secures comeback win for Roar

BRIvCCMDespite going behind to a first-half penalty, Brisbane Roar extended their competition lead to seven points after two second-half goals saw them overcome the Mariners 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane welcomed back Besart Berisha and Liam Miller for this important 1st vs 3rd clash, while Zac Anderson started in the heart of defence for Trent Sainsbury, who transferred to the Dutch Eredivisie earlier in the week. Daniel McBreen was also a notable omission for the visitors, after departing for Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League.

The game struggled to get out of first gear in the opening half hour, despite Brisbane’s dominance in the possession stakes. Berisha had a chance to put his side in front after 10 minutes, but his effort from a tight angle only found the side netting, thanks primarily to a deflection off Anderson.

Later in the half, the Albanian would have an even better opportunity. After a great run through midfield, Berisha laid the ball off for Stefanutto on the left, whose cross found its way back to Berisha. Unfortunately, the striker’s air swing from inside the six-yard box denied the Roar an almost certain goal.

Toward the end of the opening stanza, the Mariners started to find their way into the game. Josh Rose had a gilt-edged chance in the 33rd minute when he found himself through one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Disappointingly, though, Rose delayed long enough for Michael Theo to position himself well enough to block the ball out for a corner.

Match Details Full match details »

Brisbane

Yellow Card36′ M.TheoGoal66′ HenriqueYellow Card70′ L.MillerGoal90′ B.Berisha

Central Coast

Penalty36′ M.Sterjovski (Pen)
Yellow Card38′ N.MontgomeryYellow Card86′ N.Fitzgerald

It wouldn’t hurt the Mariners, however, as they took the lead shortly thereafter. Following Berisha’s air swing, Nick Fitzgerald countered and delivered a clever ball over the top of the Roar defence to Mile Sterjovski. Despite a heavy touch, the former Socceroo rounded Theo and was brought down, leaving referee Delovski with no choice but to award a penalty. Sterjovski finished off his work from the spot, giving the Mariners a surprise 1-nil lead.

Brisbane looked a determined outfit following the half time break, with a plethora of chances to equalise in the first 10 minutes. A ball in from Broich on the left flank on 46 minutes found Dimitri Petratos, whose headed effort went just wide of the far post. A minute later, and Petratos had the ball in the net after some tight lead-up work by Broich and Brattan. The assistant’s flag, however, made sure that the Mariners retained their lead.

Brisbane continued to pepper Liam Reddy’s goal, with both Thomas Broich and James Donachie firing narrowly wide from outside the box.

In the end, though, the Roar would have their reward, when substitute Henrique levelled the scores after 66 minutes. A pass by Brattan at the top of the penalty box was smartly flicked on by Broich, leaving the diminutive Brazilian time to control the ball and shoot across Reddy and into the far corner.

Brisbane continued to push, not satisfied with the 1-1 scoreline. In the 76th minute, Broich’s long range effort fizzed narrowly over the top of the bar, indicative of the increased confidence the German has possessed in the last few weeks.

With injury time approaching, the Roar deservedly took the lead, and ultimately the three points. Man of the match Broich released Berisha, who pulled back onto his right boot before firing on goal. Despite getting a hand to it, Reddy was unable to prevent the ball dropping in at the far post.

The Mariners had a chance to tie it up in the 4th minute of injury time, but it wasn’t to be. A ball across the top of the box fell to Mitchell Duke, whose first time effort on goal eluded a desperate Theo only to glance out off the upright.

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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