Brisbane Roar Youth stretched their unbeaten run to six games with an 8-1 demolition of South West Queensland Thunder in their PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues Queensland clash at Perry Park today.
Hat-tricks to the Young Roar’s in-form Abrahim Yango and fellow striker Stephen O’Neill set up the win in a performance which surely impressed new Roar Head coach John Aloisi, who was in the stands watching.
It was O’Neill’s first triple in the NPL and included a sublime chip from 20m in the 66th minute.
“I’m delighted with the goals. I thought the team played really well especially in the second half when we got it together a bit more and were able to break them down and create a lot more chances,”O’Neill said.
“In the first half we struggled to break the line and we found ourselves passing around and not being able to get through but the second half we did it much better and it showed with the goals.”
O’Neill said he didn’t realise Thunder keeper Pierce Clark was so far off his line when he launched his long-range chip for the Young Roar’s sixth goal.
“I thought I would have a shot and see what happens. Thankfully it went in,” he said.
Thunder coach Chris Wilkes praised his team for not giving up despite the score – particularly Clark whose efforts late in the game prevented the scoreline going into double figures.
“I’ve got to be proud of them, they are a bunch of boys who work their socks off,” he said.
“But the goal before half time was the real killer.”
The match started sensationally with two goals in the first three minutes.
The Young Roar found the net after just two minutes when Yango picked the pocket of Thunder defender Joel Thornton and with only SWQ keeper Clark to beat, he clinically slotted his shot into the bottom left corner.
But the Thunder struck back almost from the kick-off. Winger Thomas Fanning made the most of space down the right and surged onto a ball played to the edge of the box and buried an unstoppable shot into the Roar net to level the scores.
The equaliser shocked the Young Roar and they lifted their game and dominated possession for the next 10 minutes as they forced Thunder back into their own half.
A second Young Roar goal came as no surprise from the sustained pressure and it was Yango who split the Thunder central defence and slotted his shot into the same bottom left corner for a 2-1 lead.
Two refereeing decisions midway through the half appeared to frustrate the Roar players and bench.
First a penalty appeal was turned down by referee Matthew Skinner after Yango was brought down heavily in the box in the 29th minute while five minutes later Young Roar fullback Benjy Lyvidikos was shown the yellow card after he was upended in a tackle as he surged into the box.
But the Young Roar got their momentum back as the half came to a close and put together a terrific team goal.
Captain Mitch Hore played a short pass on the halfway line to Conor O’Neill who danced past two defenders to play a through ball for Nic D’Agostino.
The powerful striker shrugged off a strong defensive challenge from Thunder’s Keagan Sheridan to slot his shot into the goal to give the Young Roar a 3-1 lead at halftime.
Although the Thunder went to a 4-4-2 at the break, the Young Roar lifted their passing game in the second 45 minutes and took control of the match.
Stephen O’Neill got the scoring started in the 55th minute when he finished off a great team goal that involved sharp passing between Yango, D’Agostino and a Hore shot that ricocheted down off the crossbar and across the goal for O’Neill to scramble in.
Yango got his third in the 64th minute with a simple tap in after a Hore shot was parried by Clark.
O’Neill sealed his hat-trick in the 79th minute when he played a one-two with Yango off a free-kick on the edge of the left-hand side of the penalty box and toe-poked his shot under the advancing Clark.
Roar captain Hore was rewarded for his tireless efforts in midfield and two great assists when he got on the score sheet for his ninth goal in 10 games. He was set up by a good run down the left by Sheldon Dais who cut the ball back for Hore to sidefoot into the net.
Thunder finished the match with 10 men after young substitute Kimba Kibombo got an instant red from the referee after a wild two-foot tackle on O’Neill in the 81st minute.
The resulted cemented the Young Roar’s fourth place on the ladder, four points behind third placed Olympic FC with two games in hand but nine behind leaders Moreton Bay United FC, who have only played one more game than the Young Roar.
In an earlier match, five goals by Daniel Leck powered Brisbane Roar Under-18s to a 7-0 win over SWQ Thunder Under-18s.
PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues Round 13, Sunday 14 June at Perry Park
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 8 (Yango 2′ 15′ 64′, D’Agostino 45′, S O’Neill 55′ 66′ 79′, Hore 84′)
SWQ Thunder FC 1 (Fanning 3′)
Brisbane Roar FC Youth: Crickmore, Walker, Crestani, Pavlou, S O’Neill, D’Agostino (Sibatuara 58′) Yango, Hore, Ludwik, Lyvidikos (Lampard 46′), C O’Neill (Dais 67′).
Substitutes not used: Grillo, Milner
Yellow cards: Ludwik 24′, Lyvidikos 36′
Red cards: Nil
SWQ Thunder FC: Clark, Fanning, Ball (Kibombo 67′), Tansky, Sheridan, Scott, White (Atkinson 78′), Hewson, Franke (Sugden 58′), Smith, Thornton.
Substitutes not used: Formosa, Parish.
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Kimbombo 81′
Referee: Matthew Skinner