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Lustica leads Roar to thumping win

Brisbane Roar have inflicted a 6-1 drubbing on the Mariners tonight at Suncorp Stadium – the worst loss in Central Coast Mariners’ history.

In front of a disappointing crowd of 6,148, Steve Lustica pocketed a memorable hat-trick, with Andrija Kaluderovic, Devante Clut and Brandon Borrello scoring the remaining three for Brisbane.

Tony Walmsley made no changes to his starting side after last week’s 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory. On the bench, though, soon-to-depart defender Brent Griffiths was included alongside striker Travis Major, with Anthony Kalik and Glen Trifiro excluded.

For the home side, a 1-0 loss to Melbourne City last week put a large dent in their finals chances, but with the Glory potentially facing salary cap sanctions in the coming weeks, the season may not be lost for the Roar.

Frans Thijssen made two changes to his line-up, with Andrija Kaluderovic starting in a front three in place of Dimitri Petratos, whilst talisman Thomas Broich returned from injury in place of the impressive Devante Clut.

The Mariners seemed to settle the better of the two teams, with Fabio Ferreira — and his blistering pace — looking dangerous early on.

In the 7th minute, the Portugese winger nicked the ball near the middle of the park, before outmuscling Shane Stefanutto and racing toward goal. After beating two defenders outside the penalty area, Ferreira aimed a shot at the bottom corner, but Jamie Young was up to the task as he saved well to his left.

From that point on, however, it was all Brisbane. Brandon Borrello went close in the 17th minute, when his side-footed effort was blocked by Josh Rose, after Thomas Broich had cut the ball back cleverly to the penalty spot.

Two minutes later, Kaluderovic turned and found space on the edge of the box, before firing low across Liam Reddy. The Mariners ‘keeper, however, was up to the task, as he saved well low and to his right.

Brisbane were looking dangerous, and it wouldn’t take long for them to capitalise on their dominance.

In the 21st minute, a chip over the top of the defence by Broich found Kaluderovic through the middle. After getting ‘goal side’ of Zac Anderson, the Serbian striker faked to shoot and waited for Reddy to commit, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Broich was running the show, and delivered golden opportunities to both Jean Carlos Solorzano and Kaluderovic as the game ticked toward the half hour mark. Both those chances were well saved by Reddy, who was the only reason the game remained at 1-0.

That margin, though, would be doubled in the 28th minute. A short corner was played to Broich, who teed up Steve Lustica on the edge of the box to unleash a stinging shot into the top corner — his third goal of the season.

With Anderson succumbing to illness in the 36th minute, and his side behind 2-0, Walmsley decided on an attacking substitution, with Travis Major entering the fray, despite the presence of logical-replacement Brent Griffiths on the bench.

No sooner had the change been made than Brisbane added a third goal in the opening 45 minutes. Another short corner was played short to Broich who, again, teed the ball up for Lustica. Unselfishly, the young midfielder guided the ball out wide for Stefanutto, whose first-time effort was headed away from goal. Unfortunately for the Mariners, the ball fell back into the path of Lustica, who unleashed another ferocious shot on goal that buried itself low and in the far corner.

With the game seemingly run and won by half time, Frans Thijssen decided to rest Thomas Broich for the second half; presumably with an eye to the Roar’s midweek Champions League fixture against Suwon Bluewings in Korea.

It was an intelligent move by the Roar manager, as substitute Devante Clut added a fourth goal in the 48th minute. A bustling run down the left wing by Solorzano ended with a ball across the box to an unmarked Clut, who steadied before firing underneath Reddy and into the far corner.

Less than two minutes later, and the Roar made it five. A curling corner was punched clear by Reddy, with Lustica gathering the ball before spotting an open Borrello on the edge of the box. The young forward rushed toward Reddy and the Mariners’ goal before firing his shot into the roof of the net.

An own goal in the 64th minute put a dampener on the performance of Daniel Bowles, who had had a sterling game across two different positions — at full back and then at centre half, after the substitution of Jade North after half time.

Petratos, brought on in place of Brandon Borrello in the 65th minute, almost added a sixth for Brisbane in the 68th minute. Solorzano was the provider down the left side, as he cut into the box before putting the ball in the path of Petratos, whose goal-bound effort was blocked away by the Mariners defence.

Substitutions slowed the game down for Brisbane, as the fluency they had enjoyed with the likes of Broich and Borrello on the pitch dissipated somewhat.

However, that wouldn’t stop Steve Lustica from completing his hat-trick, with Dimitri Petratos weaving through four defenders, before passing to Kaluderovic on the left, who put the ball on a platter for Lustica to side-foot it home from close range.

It was the first hat-trick of Lustica’s A-League career, the fifth in Brisbane/Queensland Roar history, and well and truly wrapped up all three points for an impressive Roar outfit.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Steven Lustica (Brisbane Roar)
2 Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)
1 Daniel Bowles (Brisbane Roar)
Youth Daniel Bowles (Brisbane Roar)

About the author

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

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