Two stunning goals from Thomas Broich and Ivan Franjic sealed an impressive 2-0 victory for Brisbane Roar in an entertaining encounter with Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium.
In a dominant performance that has become typical of their play this season, a spectacular long range effort either side of halftime mean Brisbane have reduced the gap at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder to just three points.
The result also sets a new home record for the Roar for consecutive unbeaten games, the previous record stood at six matches, but the win over the Mariners was the seventh unbeaten match stretching back to the 1-0 over Sydney in January.
It took either side 17 minutes to register a first real attempt at goal with Brisbane skipper Matt McKay was agonisingly close with his effort from just inside the box.
Receiving a perfectly weighted through ball from Kosta Barbarouses, McKay switched the ball to his preferred left foot and swung a curling ball past Mariners ‘keeper Matthew Ryan only for it to rebound off the upright and away to safety.
Brisbane only had to wait another four minutes for their next chance, and this time the home side found themselves a goal ahead.
After so many standout performances for Brisbane this season, German playmaker Broich finally had his second goal of his Hyundai A-League career, cutting inside a Central Coast defender and looping the ball over Ryan into the top right corner of the net.
Striker Reinaldo was also amongst the action and had a chance to extend Brisbane-s lead after half an hour of play but the out-coming Mariners custodian was alert to the challenge and stood tall to block Reinaldo-s powerful shot.
Soon after, Broich tried his luck with another long range effort, stinging the palms of Ryan and when the ball fell to Reinaldo-s feet close to the face of goal, the big Brazilan failed to hit the target from the tight angle.
Heading into halftime, McKay connected well with a teasing cross from Ivan Franjic to send a glancing header just wide of the post but despite all efforts, Brisbane went into the break with just the one goal lead.
Both teams came out in the second half eager to take control of the game, but it was Brisbane who continued to exude their dominance on the park.
Seven minutes after the restart, Reinaldo almost found himself on the score sheet after he was picked out by Barbarouses with just the ‘keeper to beat, but Central Coast-s Rostyn Griffiths presence was enough to distract the lanky striker as he charged into the area.
Reinaldo had another chance to double the Roar-s lead moment later, forcing a diving save from Ryan with a powerful strike after he collected the ball from teammate Shane Stefanutto.
On the hour mark, Brisbane-s dominance finally paid off, finding a goal through the most unlikely of sources.
The Mariners cleared the danger from a Brisbane corner but the ball fell invitingly to Franjic just outside the penalty box.
In his first starting eleven appearance since week three, the defender smashed the ball home from 20 yards from goal to record his first ever Hyundai A-League goal.
The spectacular goal was celebrated wholeheartedly by the Brisbane players, who fashioned a kayak of three players with midfield workhorse Massimo Murdocca using the corner flag as a paddle.
Not content with just two goals, Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou threw attacking options Mitch Nichols and Jean Carlo Solorzano into the fray, hopeful of adding to their goal tally.
The Costa Rican striker in particular looked lively, testing the ‘keeper on a number of occasions early after taking the field.
McKay and Broich continued to terrorise the Mariners defence with both midfielders attacking down on the left flank but with the final whistle pending, Brisbane were resilient in defence and held on to record their fifth win of the season.
Happy with the performance of his squad, Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said he couldn-t fault the effort of his players on the park.
“It was always going to be a tough one for us, and to the boys- credit, they worked really hard tonight,” he said.
“We probably weren-t as smooth as we have been in other games, but at the same time, I thought we still dominated the contest and scored two cracking goals, which is pleasing as well.
“I was delighted and it was very pleasing to get those three points.”
Brisbane Roar (Thomas Broich 21-, Ivan Franjic 60-)
Central Coast Mariners 0
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local kick-off: 7pm
Referee: Chris Beath
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (22. Milan SUSAK 87-), 5. Ivan FRANJIC (17. Mitch NICHOLS 61-), 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA 11. REINALDO (9. Jean Carlo SOLORZANO 66-), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk),
Yellow Cards: Michael THEOKLITOS 45-, Thomas BROICH 89-
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK (17. Chris DOIG 76-), 7. John HUTCHISON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (22. Mustafa AMINI 66-), 11. Olver BOZANIC (12. Matthew LEWIS 88-), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Matthew RYAN (gk)
Substitutes Not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk)
Yellow Cards: Patrick ZWAANSWIJK 2-, Rostyn GRIFFITHS 2-, Pedj BOJIC 31-, John HUTCHISON 65-, Matt SIMON 85-
Red Cards: Nil