Central Coast Mariners extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games with an impressive 3-0 win away to Brisbane Roar on Thursday evening.
Angel Torres added a second half brace to Marco Tulio’s first half opener, as the Mariners earned their first away win of the Isuzu UTE A-League season in style.
The triumph also sees us become the first side to take all three points from Ross Aloisi’s side at Suncorp Stadium in 2023/24.
Mark Jackson was praised for his tactical tweaks at half time against Melbourne City on Sunday, and this time around he made two from the start as Alou Kuol and Harry Steele came in to the starting eleven in place of Jing Reec and Miguel Di Pizio. Josh Nisbet continued in the number ten role.
Again Jackson’s tactics paid dividends as Nisbet delivered a Player of the Match performance in the number ten role, whilst Kuol played a key part in our second goal with his tireless pressing.
After kick-off was delayed due to lightning, it was a cagey opening to the game as both teams tried to get to grips with the difficult playing surface.
The Mariners were enjoying the lion’s share of possession though and got their reward on 27 minutes as Tulio netted the opening goal.
A perfect ball over the top from Storm Roux enticed Macklin Freke off his line, and our number 10 took full advantage, rounding the goalkeeper before slotting into an open goal.
At the other end, Danny Vukovic had to be alert to prevent Carlo Armiento from levelling the scores after Jay O’Shea’s cross on 37 minutes.
The Mariners came out on top again in the second half and thought they had doubled their lead after 50 minutes, Tulio coolly slotting home after being played through by Steele, but VAR ruled it out with the tightest of offside calls.
Mariners wouldn’t have to wait long for their second though and it came after a lapse at the back from Brisbane on 56 minutes.
Tom Aldred was caught on the ball in his own box by Kuol, which forced a scuffed clearance from Freke. One pass from Tulio, dummy from Nisbet and a sumptuous finish from Torres later, and the Roar keeper was picking the ball out of his net for the second time.
The Mariners were once again denied by the offside flag just after the hour mark, as substitute Jing Reec took the ball past Freke, who was way out of his goal again, and slotted home but the flag was up to halt his celebrations and save Freke’s blushes.
Jackson shored things up at the back for the last 15 minutes, putting on Mikael Doka and Nathan Paull and reverting to a back five.
The closest Brisbane came to a goal back was substitute Alex Parson’s curling effort on 78 minutes.
Mariners held firm in defence and sealed the win with a third on the counter attack in the seventh minute of added time.
Nisbet driving through the heart of midfield before playing the ball to Torres who kept up his fine form in front of goal, drilling across Freke and into the bottom corner.
The Mariners now have a welcome ten day rest after two weeks on their travels, before returning to action on New Years Eve when we face Perth Glory in a double header at Our Paradise.
Tickets for the event are still available via the link below, this is certainly not one to miss as you can celebrate the end of what has been a historic year for the club, with both of your Mariners Liberty A-League and Isuzu UTE A-League teams (and a firework display if that wasn’t already enough!).