Grand Final Preview: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners

A thrilling season reaches its climactic conclusion as the top two go toe-to-toe. There will be a brand new Champion on Sunday, but who will it be?

Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners
Suncorp Stadium
Sunday 13th March 4:00pm

A thrilling season reaches its climactic conclusion as the top two go toe-to-toe. There will be a brand new Champion on Sunday, but who will it be?

This is it! All of the drama, all of the toil, the passion, the joy, the heartbreak and the thrills of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season boils down to 90 nerve-jangling minutes of high tension and excitement as Brisbane Roar take on Central Coast Mariners for the ultimate crown.

Don’t delay in securing yourself a ticket for this historic day as Brisbane hosts its first ever Grand Final. Suncorp Stadium is going to be packed to the rafters for this epic occasion and the atmosphere will be unbelievable. Sunday is set to be talked about for years to come, so make sure you are able to say, “I was there.”

Brisbane Roar will go into their debut Grand Final appearance as deserved favourites on the back of a quite remarkable Hyundai A-League season. In their 32 matches (including the two against Central Coast Mariners in the finals) they only suffered a solitary defeat. It was 28 games ago that Melbourne Victory caught Ange Postecoglou’s young side napping. Other than that blip though, Roar have been simply unbeatable – embarking on a run of games without defeats that has smashed every record going.

Before that loss to Victory, Roar’s army of fans wouldn-t have seen too many obvious signs that the season would be quite as exceptional as it has been. Their team started solidly rather than spectacularly, keeping clean sheets and sneaking games by the odd goal. But as time ticked on, the goals started to flow, the players grew in confidence and began to play the kind of slick, fluid, elegant yet high-energy passing game that has had Roar fans drooling and opposition supporters applauding in reluctant admiration. They have torn teams apart; Heart, Phoenix, Adelaide and Gold Coast have been hit for four, while – ominously for Sunday-s opponents – they won 5-1 at Bluetongue.

Kosta Barabarouses and Jean Carlos Solorzano have been the main threats, notching over 20 times between them, while they have been ably backed up by scoring contributions from the likes of Thomas Broich, who has had an amazing season with half-a-dozen goals and double that number of assists. That-s not to say that their attacking verve has cost them at the other end. Not only were Roar top scorers in the 2010/11 season but their defence was also the meanest of all 11 teams. Make no mistake, this team is one of the finest that the Hyundai A-League has ever seen.

However, the side they come up against are no mugs either. Indeed, you only have to look back a couple of weeks to see just what a threat Graham Arnold-s men are to Roar-s hopes of clinching the double. With Brisbane seemingly cruising into the Grand Final after their 2-0 first-leg Major Semi-Final win at Bluetongue, Mariners gave them a massive scare. Playing the kind of attractive football that rivals Roar-s style, they flew into a 2-0 first-half lead which silenced the 25,168 crowd.

While the home side eventually drew level and secured home advantage in the Grand Final, Mariners came dangerously close to bringing an end to Brisbane-s unbeaten home run which has lasted all season. Roar might be favourites to lift the trophy on Sunday but if any team is capable of ruining the party in Brisbane it is a young Central Coast Mariners team that plays with panache, confidence and flair.

Mariners – who won through to Sunday-s showdown thanks to a hard-fought and nerve-wracking 1-0 Preliminary Final win over Gold Coast United last Saturday – certainly have a better Finals pedigree than their hosts. Sunday will mark three Grand Final appearances and they-ll be hoping that it will be third time lucky, having lost both of their previous shots at glory by a single goal. The Gosford-based club will feel that they deserve some silverware for their efforts in a campaign which has not only seen them qualify for the AFC Asian Champions League but amass a points tally that in previous seasons would have been enough to win the Premier-s Plate at a canter. The fact that Roar finished above them gives the Yellow Army all the more reason to want to get one over them. There are scores to settle on Sunday.

If Mariners are to return to New South Wales with silverware under their arms though, they will have to do something they have failed to achieve in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season: beat Roar. Brisbane has triumphed in three of their five meetings, including that 5-1 thumping at Bluetongue. As well as further cementing Roar as favourites, these matches between the sides point very clearly towards goals. Over the five games, there have been a remarkable 20 strikes. Sunday-s mouth-watering Final is the perfect reward for these two teams- attacking endeavour. Whichever club comes out on top, they will have achieved it by playing the game the right way.

Ninety-minutes separate one of these sides from ultimate glory. Will Brisbane end their phenomenal campaign with a magnificent double, or can the Yellow Army spoil their party? Roar fans and Mariners fans, now is your time to shine. Your support can help push your side over the finish line, so get your ticket to Suncorp now and get ready to sing your heart out from the minute you walk through the turnstiles. On an occasion like this, it-s all about noise, passion and commitment from the stands as your players strive for silverware. So let-s turn Suncorp into a sea of orange, maroon, yellow and navy.

The season is hurtling towards its climactic conclusion and one of these teams is set to be crowned Champions for the first time. Who will it be? Tickets are selling quickly so secure yours today and experience the unbelievable excitement live!

Get your tickets now!