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Mariners and Roar in second half goal bonanza

The scores were locked at Bluetongue Stadium in a six goal thriller, as Brisbane Roar held Central Coast Mariners to a 3-3 draw on Saturday afternoon.

It was a match of two halves, as both teams struggled to convert in the first half, and then couldn’t stop scoring in the second, providing a thrilling end to a good contest of football.

In a dreary first half, Brisbane Roar looked the better of the two sides, despite lacking quality around Reddy’s box. Solorzano eventually offered that quality on the stroke of half time, after 44 minutes of frustrating football from both sides.

Matt McKay and Adam Sarota seemed to be the difference between the two sides – McKay offering a creative outlet, and Sarota that all important linchpin in front of the defence.

McKay started strong, picking out Henrique’s run in the fourth minute, but the Brazilian couldn’t make the most of his good position as his shot sailed wide.

In the 10th minute, Sarota did well to control a Central Coast clearance from a corner, and on the edge of the box, volleyed just wide of Reddy’s goal, with the Mariners’ no.1 beaten if on target.

Central Coast had their share of possession, though both Hutchinson and Trifiro were slow to start, and the Mariners’ engine struggled. Caceres had some neat touches, but without much support going forward, his spark was dim at best.

Simon looked to duplicate his form from last week, as he made a chance for himself out of nothing in the 21st minute. He received a good ball on the edge of the area, and, much like his goal last week, he turned his man and took a shot from 20 yards out, but his finish needed to be better to beat Jamie Young.

Brisbane were pressing Central Coast and squeezing the space to force a high turnover. With Bosnar and Anderson controlling play from the back, the ball was often given away cheaply, as was the case in the 38th minute, when Solorzano should’ve done better from a counter attack caused by Anderson.

Just moments earlier, Jamie Young was the culprit in a cheap turnover, though Trifiro also couldn’t make the most of poor play from the opposition.

On the stroke of half time, Carlos Solorzano bagged his first A-League goal since 2011 when Steve Lustica’s shot was deflected into his path. He turned Josh Rose inside the box, and finished well past Liam Reddy to give Brisbane Roar a deserved lead heading into half time.

Central Coast came out with more intent in the second half, and in a bizarre occurrence, were gifted an indirect free kick when Jamie Young picked up what was deemed a back pass from Matt McKay. Whether the call was the right call or not, Central Coast couldn’t capitalise on the 6 yard box, with the entire Brisbane Roar team forming a wall on the goal line.

In the 55th minute, Eddy Bosnar equalised from a header, latching onto an Anthony Caceres cross following a corner. The Mariners had come out looking to fight their way back into the match, and found the perfect response to bring the match back to life.

Poor Brisbane defence was to blame for the second goal, as Fitzgerald and Duke both fired shots on target, and both were beaten away well by Jamie Young. The ball was caught under Matt Simon who found himself on the ground in a tussle with James Donachie, and as he managed to get back up, it looked far too simple for the towering front man, as he poked the ball home from ten yards out.

The match had all of a sudden swung in favour of the home side, though Brisbane weren’t going to give up, and equalised through James Donachie, who capped off a close to perfect defensive performance with a well-deserved goal.

Donachie equalised in the 69th minute with a header at the back post, which bounced off Storm Roux and beat Reddy at his near post.

Almost immediately, Josh Rose broke through a wall of defenders and made space for himself on the left wing, playing in Simon, whose shot couldn’t beat Young at his near post.

With the scores level at 2-2, and against the run of play, substitute Mitch Duke picked up the ball in his own half and made a fantastic run, eventually playing in Simon whose shot was deflected away from Young, only to fall into the path of substitute Kim Seung-Yong, who finished neatly giving the Mariners a 3-2 lead.

It was a thrilling second half, with more chances than some A-League games. Caceres, Duke and Simon were the driving force for the Mariners, but their defence couldn’t rise to the same level.

Brisbane replied straight away through Solorzano, who, with four Central Coast players around him, found space in the box to latch onto a great cross along the ground from Daniel Bowles.

Central Coast were next to attack in an exciting, if not confusing second half, with Mitchell Duke directing a shot on goal as Young was out of position, but James Donachie expertly cleared off the line, diving backwards and heading the ball out for a corner.

The scores remained locked at 3-3, despite both teams pushing for that final goal in the last ten minutes.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 James Donachie (Brisbane Roar)
2 Anthony Caceres (Central Coast)
1 Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)
Youth James Donachie (Brisbane Roar)

About the author

avatarJames is a devout Melbourne Victory fan and a UQ Journalism student, writing for Ultimate A-League.

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