Brisbane secure home Grand Final

 

Hyundai A-League Major Semi-final – Leg 2
Central Coast Mariners 2 :( Patrick ZWAANSWIJK 29’, Adam KWASNIK 32’
Brisbane Roar 3: (Thomas BROICH 1’ Mitch NICHOLS 26’, HENRIQUE 68’
Brisbane Roar win 5-2 on aggregate

Sunday, 8 April 2012
Bluetongue Stadium

Referee: Jarred Gillett
Crowd: 9,846

 

Get ready for Orange Sunday MkII- Brisbane Roar will host the 2012 A-League decider following a 5-2 victory over the Central Coast on aggregate with Henrique, Nichols and Broich doing the damage. Kwasnik and Zwaanswijk got the Mariners on the scoreboard. Brisbane ofcourse held a 2-0 lead over the Mariners and their two early goals were more than enough to see off the Premiers Plate winners. Central Coast will now host Perth on Saturday to determine who Brisbane will play.

 

Starting Line-ups

 

Substitutions:
Brisbane:
Brattan for Murdocca (58’), Hingert for Stefanutto (70’), Jurman for Franjic (84’)

Yellow Cards: Brattan
Red Cards: Nil

 

Central Coast: Sainsbury for Zwaanswijk (73’), Amini for Rogic (73’), Ibini for Sutton (77’)

Yellow Cards: Kwasnik, Zwaanswijk, Bojic, Sainsbury, Wilkinson

Red Cards: Nil

 

Brisbane got off to the best start imaginable with Thomas Broich’s free kick going untouched and into the Mariners net. There was however some controversy surrounding it with most believing Nichols interfered with the play while being in an offside position. Here’s the explanation offered by referee’s coach Mark Shield:

 

In regards to Brisbane’s opening goal, the considerations you need to take to decide if it should be penalised for offside is whether Mitch Nichols was interfering with play – clearly he was in an offside position when the ball was played – and the secondary consideration to see if he would be penalised if he was interfering with play or with the line of sight of the keeper.

 

Our view is that he clearly was doing both and it should have been penalised offside. The goal shouldn’t have stood. In regards to Henrique’s handball, I’m not convinced that’s a definite penalty. Handball’s such a difficult one because it’s the only rule in Law 12 which speaks of intent – it’s got to be an intentional handball. I’m not convinced that was a deliberate handball.

 

If the 1st goal didn’t kill the tie off- then Mitch Nichols rounding off a brilliant move on the right side to make it 2-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate surely did. The move was a typical Brisbane Roar move exploiting the space with lateral movements across the edge of the 18 yard box.  Henrique did well to find him with a deaf touch with Franjic making a good decoy overlapping run. Surely game and tie over right?

 

Well the Mariners were never going to just lie down and they proceeded on their mission impossible task and Zwaanswijk got them on their way. His 30 yard strike had a fair amount of power behind it but in truth Theo will be disappointed he didn’t keep it out. Soon after Kwasnik produced a tidy finish on the edge of the box to make it 2-2 and give them an outside shot at what would have been an incredible comeback.  

 

While Central Coast did continue to attack to try and make the 2nd half interesting they just couldn’t create any clear cut chances. Brisbane however did create one on the counter attack with Berisha laying on an excellent chance for Henrique and the Brazilian made no mistake to end the contest if it wasn’t already.  

 

So what of the much vaunted fatigue factor? Well I think its fair to say that Brisbane did tire in the 2nd half just as both Arnold and the media expected- the problem was that the game was already over by that stage and the Mariners weren’t exactly fresh themselves- physically or mentally. The shoe now is on the other foot in the Grand Final- If the Mariners get there.

 

Preliminary final preview: Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory

I was going to post this on its own later in the week, but because it’s not our primary interest here’s a brief preview of the Preliminary final.

 

2011/12 season record between the two:

Round 4: Central Coast Mariners (Simon 27’, Ibini 45’) 2-1 Perth Glory (Dodd 6’)

Round 13: Perth Glory (McGarry 83’) 1-3 Central Coast Mariners (Bojic 60’, Simon 64’)

Round 25: Perth Glory (Dodd 25’) 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

 

Key Players:
Central Coast:
Tom Rogic
Perth:
Shane Smeltz

 

This game should be an intriguing watch actually between two sides who play a similar brand of football and are near the top of their games right now. The travel and extra time factors for Perth will be an issue but perhaps not as much as expected given the heavy schedule Central Coast has also faced.

 

Central Coast will go in clear favourites for the game at home but I would not write Perth off- they’re on a good run at the moment and are more than capable of producing what would be the upset. There should also be numerous goals in this one with Ibini, Rogic, Amini and Sutton on one side while Miller, Andrezinho, Dodd and Smeltz are on the other.

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