Brisbane wins it late againPosted: February 2, 2014
Brisbane Roar: 2 (Henrique 66’, Berisha 90’)
Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Sterjovski 36’ P.K)
16,078 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
Brisbane: Theo, Donachie, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Ferreira, Brattan, Miller, Petratos, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Henrique for Ferreira (63’), Solórzano for Brattan (87’), Brown for Miller (93’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Borrello.
Yellow Cards: Theo, Miller.
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast: Reddy, Roux, Anderson, Seip, Rose, Hutchinson, Montgomery, Caceres Sterjovski, Fitzgerald, Simon.
Substitutions: Ibini for Sterjovski (58’), Duke for Montgomery (71’)
Unused Substitutes: Pasfield, Griffiths, Slater.
Yellow Cards: Montgomery, Fitzgerald.
Red Cards: Nil.
Brisbane controlled the majority of the flow of the game as usual, as they had the majority of possession and territory. The Mariners ended up playing largely on the counter, however they did break forward often enough to remain a genuine threat, particularly on the flanks with Rose on the left in the first half, and Ibini on the right in the second. Despite the possession and territory, Brisbane struggled to create the clear openings in and around the box, with the Mariners cutting out the cut-backs and the passes into the box.
Broich was once again the dominant figure in the attacking third, however it just wasn’t clicking for him, or Berisha, in the opening half with a compact Mariners defence marshalled by Zac Anderson keeping them at bay. At times it seemed like there was a lack of width at times, and perhaps the ball movement was a tad slow at times from Brattan and Ferreira. Despite playing largely on the counter, it was the defending champions who opened the scoring after Michael Theo brought down Mile Sterjovski. No doubt it was a penalty and in truth there weren’t many arguments, and it was also a well taken penalty.
Into the second half, and Brisbane continued to dominate the game, however they still struggled to break the Mariners down, who were now defending their goal advantage. It was then that Mulvey made the call that ultimately got Brisbane back into the game with the change of Henrique for Ferreira just after the hour mark. The move gave us another creative link in the front third and within five minutes he got his rewards when Broich and Henrique combined to open up just enough space, and Henrique slotted home into the bottom corner.
The game continued on in a similar fashion after the equaliser, however Brisbane stepped it up slightly and spent the majority of the game from then on camped in the front third of the pitch. Mariners boss Phil Moss then made an astute change of his own, in bringing on Bernie Ibini who offered an attacking outlet on the break for the visitors. As the game wound down, we saw the second debut of Jean Carlos Solórzano who looked lively in his five minute cameo, and we should see more of that in the coming weeks, which just adds to Brisbane’s attacking options. It was then that the man who he has at least in part been brought in to replace, Besart Berisha, popped up and scored the winner. It was a bit lucky in truth with a deflection, but the goal was deserved and you could see the emotion, and almost relief on the Albanian’s face in his celebrations. Despite going behind, the Mariners had one final chance right at the death, but Mitchell Duke couldn’t keep his shot down as it went just over the bar.
Brisbane have a short turn-around as they take on the Wanderers in a top of the table clash on Friday night in Parramatta. A first ever win away to the Wanderers on Friday night would see Brisbane get one hand on the premiers plate, as they currently sit seven points clear, with a game in hand against the Wanderers.