Roar ride their luck as Mariners fall short

Two freakish goals, either side of half time, have helped Brisbane Roar to a 2-nil victory over the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium tonight, consigning the Yellow and Navy to just their second loss of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 campaign.

Two freakish goals, either side of half time, have helped Brisbane Roar to a 2-nil victory over the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium tonight, consigning the Yellow and Navy to just their second loss of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 campaign.

Dutchman Thomas Broich watched as what looked to be an attempted cross sailed into the back of the net in the first half, while Ivan Franjic followed it up with one of the strikes of the season to complete the victory.

“We were rusty. We haven-t played for 18 days. It-s been a long break for us … and I thought we played in fits and starts,” said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold.

“For 15 minutes before half time I thought we looked like we were going to get back and the first 15 minutes after half time I thought we were probably the better side, but they-ve scored two freak goals.”

The Mariners came into the match on the back of a massive 18 day break since their last match, a 3-2 win over North Queensland, but they were full of fire, as Rostyn Griffiths and Patrick Zwaanswijk both found themselves in referee Chris Beath-s book within two minutes, after a Griffiths challenge on Matt McKay sparked a minor scuffle.

Michael McGlinchey had a shot blocked six minutes in after good lead up work from Josh Rose and Matt Simon, before McGlinchey floated a dangerous Free Kick into the area soon after, which Brisbane custodian Michael Theoklitos had to be on his toes for, plucking it out of the air inches from the head of a looming Patrick Zwaanswijk at the back post.

Erik Paartalu shot wide as the hosts found their way into the contest, and could have had an opener on 17 minutes, as the dangerous McKay broke clear and curled a shot around Mathew Ryan, only to watch it cannon into the back post.

Rose sent an effort over the bar on 20 minutes, and a minute later the hosts went ahead, albeit in somewhat fortunate circumstances.

Thomas Broich whipped a ball in from the left, and whether his left footed effort was indeed a cross or a shot, it ended up in the back of the net, after catching Ryan a little off guard.

Kosta Barbarouses released Reinaldo on the half hour as the hosts looked to extend their advantage, but the Mariners teenage goalkeeper Ryan stayed big to block the shot.

In a free flowing, end to end contest, McGlinchey watched a free kick sail over the bar at one end, before Reinaldo, Luke Devere and Barbarouses all had chances for the hosts.

Reinaldo perhaps should have doubled the lead late in the half after Ryan could only parry a stinging shot from Broich into his path. But he somehow slid his effort across the face of goal, and McKay had an opportunity too, but his header sailed wide after darting into the box to latch on to an Ivan Franjic header.

The yellow and Navy-s best chance came with one of the last plays of the half, McGlinchey whipped a ball in to Daniel McBreen, who headed goalbound, only to see Matt Smith clear off the line, and ensure the slim margin would remain.

After the break, Graham Arnold-s men were just as positive as when they went into the sheds, Rose delivering a ball from the left which only marginally evaded the head of McBreen, while the former Perth and North Queensland striker fired at Theoklitos soon after, as the Mariners chased an equaliser.

A golden chance for that much needed goal came just shy of the hour mark as McGlinchey slid a ball across the face of goal, which was somehow cleared by a desperate Roar defence under the noses of Rose and McBreen, and it proved a crucial play, as the hosts doubled their lead almost immediately after.

A McKay corner was cleared only as far as Franjic on the edge of the box, who rocketed one of the sweetest shots he-s ever likely to hit through the crowded penalty area and into the back of the net, much to the disbelief of the visitors.

17-year-old Mustafa Amini became the second youngest player to ever represent the Mariners, behind Bernie Ibini-Isei, when he was introduced in the second half, fresh from a standout performance during Australia-s charge to the final of the AFC U19-s Championships in China, but he wouldn-t be tasting success on his maiden appearance.

The hosts seemed comfortable with sitting back on the lead as the match began to peter out, and while the Mariners searched for a way back in, it was all in vain, as the Roar skipped four clear of the Mariners in third place on the Hyundai A-League ladder, albeit still with a game in hand.

“I was happy with the attitude of the boys. It was hard, we have another bye this weekend, that-s our three gone and then we can get back into a rhythm because nothing replaces playing football,” said Arnold.

“We-re back on the training field working hard, get some injured players back because we had the bare minimum tonight.

“It-s a long season, there-s still 21 games to go … its just one game, and there-s plenty of time left.”

“Brisbane are playing great football, Ange is doing a great job with them, and they are at their peak but we have a lot of improvement left in us. I said after the North Queensland game we-re only 60% of where we should be and where we-re going to be,” said Arnold.

Captain Alex Wilkinson was philosophical as the side prepares for its next challenge, against a Perth side looking to claw it-s way back toward the top of the ladder.

“The only way we can work through this is to get back and work hard and stay positive. Like Arnie said it-s only one game, and we look forward to Perth now,” said Wilkinson.

The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season will be against Perth Glory at the Sydney Football Stadium next Saturday, 30 October. Kick-off is at 7:30pm ADST and tickets are available now by CLICKING HERE

Mariners nine and five match Memberships are still available for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season by CLICKING HERE

Match Details

Brisbane Roar 2 (Broich 21-, Franjic 58-)
Central Coast Mariners 0

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (23. Milan SUSAK 87-), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (17. Mitch NICHOLS 81-), 11. REINALDO (9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 66-), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH.

Subs Not Used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk).

Yellow Cards: Theoklitos 46-, Broich 89-
Red Cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK (17. Chris DOIG 76-), 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (22. Mustafa AMINI 66-), 11. Oliver BOZANIC (12. Matthew LEWIS 88-), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON.

Subs Not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: Griffiths 2-, Zwaanswijk 2-, Bojic 31-, Hutchinson 65-, Simon 85-
Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Chris BEATH