Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Mariners fail at first hurdle
By Chris Dunkerley

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - 1v2 Semi Final (1st leg)
7:00pm, 19 February, 20101
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 0
lost to
Brisbane Roar FC 2
(Kosta Barbarouses 52’, Matt McKay 73')

(Photo linked from FFA site)

Brisbane Roar FC have grabbed a very handy 2-0 win and first leg lead at Gosford on Saturday night ahead of their second leg at home next week. Goals in the second half to Kosta Barbarouses and Matt McKay through mistakes by the home side mean that having failed at the first hurdle the Mariners have a mountain to climb in Brisbane next weekend.

Having struggled to put a team on the park all season that could overcome the Roar, Coast coach Graham Arnold returned to his twin big men up front, in a back from injury Matt Simon and Daniel McBreen. Perhaps hoping to exploit the absence of Luke de Vere from the Roar central defence, he was defeated by top of the line displays by Milan Susak and Matt Smith.

The Coast largely matched the Roar's midfield, despite themselves being below par, but it was largely their profligacy in shooting that cost the coast the game, along with costly mistakes.

Brisbane started well, with a good chance to Mitch Nicholls being hit well over the bar in the 10th minute after the usually reliable Patrick Zwaanswijk failed to clear.

One minute later Patricio Perez made his first real contribution when he got free on the left and hit a cross over the goalmouth, meant for Matt Simon who was well placed advancing on the right side of goal. Michael Theoklitos, the Roar's 'keeper, rose to fingertip the ball - enough for it to prove to hard for Simon to keep his header down, and the ball went wide.

A great chance to the Mariners in the 18th minute, created and executed by Pedj Bojic. Bojic beat the Roar defence to a weak backpass by Thomas Broich 35m out, and surged forward hitting a stinging shot toward the top left corner of the goal. Theoklitos saw it early but had to use both hands to parry the ball out of its trajectory.

Thirty six minutes in Michael McGlinchey weaved between three defenders before unleashing a curling shot from the right that hit the left upright and rebounded into the path of Oliver Bozanic, who was alas unable to get his shot on target as it took a deflection.

Coast 'keeper Matt Ryan sprinted off his line in the 45th minute to deny Ivan Franjic.

As the Mariners struggled to contain the Roar midfield after the break a very lazy 'hospital' pass from Danny McBreen to John Hutchinson, saw Matt McKay race from half-way to thread a ball to Kosta Barbarouses, who had been well contained in the first half. This time he had momentum and space to beat Ryan with his shot. 0-1

The Mariners best chance of equalizing came in the 62nd minute when they hit the post twice in the one play. Patricio Perez found McBreen whose shot slammed into the back post before Matt Simon hit the roubound onto the crossbar.

Matt McKay took the ball forward in the 73rd minute and laid it out to Kosta Barbarouses on the right. Faced with Joshua Rose he lifted the ball over and as Matt Ryan at the far post was shaping to take the ball an untracked McKay sotted himself in between and nodded the bal into the net. 0-2

Late in the half the Mariners midfielders made several opportunities to get shots in, but sqaundered them with off-target shootting that never troubled Theoklitos.

“It was a game of chances. We had more then they did in the first half in particular. In big games you have to convert the chances you get. They were just more ruthless in front of goal,” said Mariners coach Graham Arnold after the game. “It was frustrating we did move the ball to where it needed to go but our finishing let us down. It’s Brisbane - you can’t afford to slacken off at anytime against them, because they will find a way to punish you. They’re a very good side. Always keen to look for positives, Arnold felt that his charges can take confidence out of their performance, particularly their ability to cope with the rapid interchange of passes that Brisbane prefer to employ".

He continued, “At the end of the day what we can take out of the game is our performance. The boys can be proud of the effort they put in, and they’re disappointed obviously. The game could’ve gone differently if we took those chances, but the two sucker punches really hurt us".

Brisbane captain and Socceroo Matt McKay said he was especially proud of the side as they dealt with the pressure of heading into the finals series as red-hot favourites for the title. “Everyone’s putting a bit of pressure on us at the moment, and we dealt with that. Central Coast are a very good side, they had their chances in the first half and they pinned us back a bit. But full credit to our boys, we worked very hard all game and two good goals in the second half to get us through. Its great to come away from home and score two while conceding none".

The Coast now have a huge task, and after next weekend may have to refocus on beating the winner of the game pitting Adelaide vs the winner of Gold Coast vs Melbourne Victory elimination semi-final.

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - 1v2 Semi Final (1st leg)
7:00pm, 19 February, 20101
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 0
lost to
Brisbane Roar FC 2
(Kosta Barbarouses 52’, Matt McKay 73')

    Crowd: 10,166 (Half-full? Odd, most fans suggest 12K or more)


    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN (23. Adam KWASNIK +64’), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON (8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS +67’), 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC (22. Mustafa AMINI +79’), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON
    Substitutes not used: 30. Paul Henderson (rgk), 17. Chris Doig

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Patrick ZWAANSWIJK 66’, Pedj BOJIC 88’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. HENRIQUE (9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO +66’), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS (8. Massimo MURDOCCA +66’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
    Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: HENRIQUE 54'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Matthew Breeze 8/10
    Assistant referees: Ben Wilson, Rod Allen; Fourth official: Gerard Parsons

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Milan Susak (BR)
    2. Pedj Bojic (CCM)
    1. Matt Smith (BR)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    Match Report and ratings: Chris Dunkerley

Special Picture Gallery (All for BOTN by Lowenna Rappo)

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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