Points shared in derby deluge

A highly entertaining 2-2 draw against Gold Coast United has seen Brisbane Roar go 11 points clear at the summit of the Hyundai A-League.

A highly entertaining 2-2 draw against Gold Coast United has seen Brisbane Roar go 11 points clear at the summit of the Hyundai A-League.

In one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season, the two teams had to settle for a share of the spoils in the rain-soaked M1 derby at Suncorp Stadium – a result which stretches Brisbane-s unbeaten run to 18 games.

The home side looked lively from the opening whistle, Roar skipper Matt McKay signalling his side-s intent with a teasing cross inside three minutes but the run of teammate Jean Carlos Solorzano was too late to connect for a vital touch.

Less than a minute later, Brisbane-s Mitch Nichols had a clear-cut chance to put his side ahead after he collected a deft through ball but a combined defensive effort from Gold Coast-s Michael Thwaite and Glen Moss kept the game goalless.

Kosta Barbarouses tried his luck shortly after for the Roar, forcing a point-black save from Moss after he found himself one-on-one with the Gold Coast No. 1 in front of goal.

Despite all Brisbane-s early pressure, it was Gold Coast who drew first blood in the 14th minute – Dino Djublic guiding the ball past Roar ‘keeper Michael Theoklitos after a pinpoint cross from Adama Traore.

The Roar still looked the better of the two sides, German import Thomas Broich stinging the palms of Moss with a long-range, left-footed effort ten minutes later after they continued to dominate possession in the midfield.

Solorzano was the next Brisbane attacker to be denied by the Gold Coast ‘keeper after a dazzling run from Broich, but the lively crowd at Suncorp Stadium didn-t have to wait too much longer for a deserved equaliser with Barbarouses netting his 10th goal of the campaign on the half hour mark.

Nichols threaded a perfect through ball to the Kiwi striker who made no mistakes with the goal in clear sight, smashing the ball past Moss to set up an open second stanza.

Moss continued to be outstanding between the sticks for United, denying McKay from close range five minutes after the restart but it was Barbarouses-s pace and potency in front of goal that was the real talking point in the early stages of the second half.

The 20-year-old twice outran Gold Coast defenders before a deflected shot sailed just over the cross bar but despite his constant menacing, Brisbane went a goal behind against the run of play for the second time in the match.

Finding himself in space, Gold Coast midfielder Robson squeezed his shot under Theoklitos, giving Gold Coast a narrow lead heading into the final stages of the game.

However, Brisbane were not about to back down and when the ever-present Barbarouses was fouled in the penalty area by United defender John Curtis, Ange Postecoglou-s men found themselves on level terms after Solorzano calmly netted from the spot.

The Roar-s passing display was impressive in spite of the heavy rain and Broich had a chance to seal the win in the 70th minute but his effort went agonisingly close after he was picked out by Barbarouses.

Brisbane had numerous chances to snatch the win late in the half with Broich, substitute Massimo Murdocca and Barbarouses all threatening the Gold Coast goal but both sides stood strong in the rain to hold onto a point each.

After a tough 90 minutes, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou couldn-t fault the effort of his players in the trying conditions.

“We were on song tonight, I was really pleased to be honest,” he said.

“I know we didn-t get the points but we played some really good football, created some fantastic opportunities, maybe our finishing was a little bit off.

“We had 13 and a half thousand people come out tonight in pouring rain and the boys delivered.

“Under extreme conditions, we had quality opportunities, it-s the stuff we work on, it wasn-t by chance, it wasn-t individual efforts, it was combinations around the edge of the box, good little interplays – it was great.”

Brisbane captain Matt McKay said the support of the enthusiastic crowd was invaluable and praised their vocal efforts.

“That was some atmosphere, 13 and a half thousand in a stadium in this size and to make that noise, was just incredible.

“The further we go along this season, it-s going to ramp up and that-s what the boys are looking forward to.

“We want to play in these big games and we know the Brisbane public will support us.”

Brisbane Roar 2 (Kosta BARBAROUSES 30-, Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (pen) 64-)
Gold Coast United 2 (Dino Djublic 14-, ROBSON 55-)
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Local kick-off: 6.15pm
Referee: Chris Beath

Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk). 2. Matthew SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (23. Milan SUSAK 78-), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (14. Rocky VISCONTE 73-), 15. Matthew McKAY (c), 17. Mitchell NICHOLS (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 66-), 22. Thomas BROICH

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk),

Yellow Cards: Matt SMITH 41-, Milan SUSAK 90+3-

Red Cards: Nil

Gold Coast United line-up: 1. Glen MOSS (gk), 3. Michael THWAITE, 5. ROBSON (16. Kristian REES 78-), 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 10. Jason CULINA (c), 11. Bruce DJITE (26. Ben HALLORAN 87-), 13. Sebastiaan VAN DEN BRINK, 14. Joel PORTER (2. Steve PANTELIDIS 62-), 22. Adama TRAORE, 24. John CURTIS

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Scott HIGGINS (gk)

Yellow Cards: Michael THWAITE 33-, Adama TRAORE 88-

Red Cards: Nil

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