Brisbane make a belated bid from win over Mariners

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

Hyundai A-League – Season 10 – 2014/2015 – Round 17

7:40pm, Friday 13th February 2015 – Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 0

lost to

Brisbane Roar FC 2  (Solorzano 49′ pen, Kaluderovic 90’+1 pen)


The Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar both knew that much was at stake in Friday night’s encounter at Central Coast Stadium, as both teams were aiming to make belated bids for top six spots after a wretched start to the season.

Following up on a heroic 2-1 win over Adelaide the previous weekend, Central Coast must have been realistically confident going into the game, albeit on the back of a somewhat fortuitous late rally to beat the Reds in their last home game.

Brisbane, meanwhile, had looked far from impressive in snatching their own 1-0 win in Newcastle the previous Friday, though they did begin the match ahead of the Mariners on points and aware that their hosts needed all three points to gain ground on them.

Perhaps mindful of Tuesday night’s pending Asian Champions League qualifier on the same ground, Central Coast played cautiously at times and had to weather a well-drilled Brisbane assault, evading punishment in the first half at least and eventually only succumbing to two penalties, the second of which came in stoppage time as the Mariners threw men forward in search of at least an equaliser.

The first penalty may have been fortunate for Brisbane, but there was little doubt that Mariners’ mainstay, Eddy Bosnar, had been unable to keep his hand away from the ball as he virtually patted it to the ground.

Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones agreed and pointed to the spot.

Roar striker, Jean Carlos Solorzarno, who’s been in form in recent weeks, smashed the penalty home, giving Mariners’ keeper, Liam Reddy, no chance.

That 49th minute goal set the home team back and they had already been under some pressure for much of the first half before the second half began in similar vein.

Central Coast worked hard to get back in the game, but the backline of the Roar, with the returning Jade North imperious and screener Luke Brattan, equally effective in front of the four chief defenders, was even more sound and impressive.

Thomas Broich, back to full fitness apparently, although looking at times a little sluggish, pulled the strings for his team, although nominally he was listed among the three strikers.

He sat deeper than the rampaging Solorzano or even Brandon Borrello, always prompting and often withdrawing to assist with the fetching and carrying out of defence, allied with a willingness to tackle and win the ball back for his team. He had a typically influential game.

Brisbane were not totally convincing, however, as Nick Montgomery tried hard to loosen the Roar grip on the game, as did newcomer Fabio Ferreira, recently signed from Adelaide United, who was mostly playing out wide on the right, though he did switch to the left at least once, but with little success.

Standing in the Mariners’ way was Brattan, whose mobility was outstanding and who was as much the driving force as Broich, but from a deeper lying position.

Central Coast were well served by skipper John Hutchinson, who came off late in the game for another promising player, Anthony Kalik.

Travis Major, a more orthodox striker, came on for a somewhat and understandably tired Ferreira, with over an hour to play, but this Brisbane Roar team is beginning to hit its straps again, under the care of Franciscus Thiussen, who came in as a replacement for Mike Mulvey, some months ago, after a laboured start to the season by the Roar.

Matt McKay has taken confidence from this Asian Cup performances to look every bit the key player he has always been for the Queenslanders, tidying up lost balls and getting things moving in attack whenever possible.

Brisbane look now far more capable of reaching the top six and staying there, while Central Coast could probably do without the distractions of the Asian Champions League this year, a campaign that begins with Tuesday’s qualifier.

With Mitchell Duke gone to Japan’s Shimizu S-Pulse, the strike force is looking decidedly threadbare and much rests on the contribution of new Brazilian Ferreira and the emerging Travis Major.

Anthony Caceres has been a subdued figure of late, frustrated as much by his own performances as those of his team mates and it’s mainly the emergence of defender Poscoliero and solid work from the veteran Bosnar that keeps the stability and self belief going strong for now.

The Mariners will be looking for Storm Roux to make the most of his chance back in the side and the returns from injury of Richard Vernes, Michael Neill and Isaka Cernak are all eagerly awaited.

A silly trip by youngster Kalik on Broich, just inside the Central Coast penalty area on the left, earned the visitors an indisputable second penalty and replacement striker, Kaluderovic, elected to take the kick and soon put it away as easily as the injured Solorzano had done at the start of the second period.

It was tough for the Mariners, but they’d enjoyed some fortune in their previous game against Adelaide and this time it deserted them.

Official FFA quotes from the game. Too few trains back to town to stay for the press conference post match, this time.

“We could have played a little bit better but at the end of the day we got the three points and that’s what we came here to do. That’s three games on the trot and it was also really important that we got a clean sheet.” – Roar midfielder Adam Sarota

“Yeah definitely disappointed. Two penalties which cost us the game and tonight I actually thought we played some good football. We’ve got the Asian Champions League on Tuesday and our full focus will go towards that now.” – Mariners defender Jacob Poscoliero

Match details

Crowd: 6,021

Central Coast Mariners FC: 12 Liam REDDY (gk); 2 Storm ROUX,4 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 25 Eddy BOSNAR, 3 Joshua ROSE; 7 John HUTCHINSON (c) (20 Anthony KALIK +71′),  11 Nick FITZGERALD; 10 Adrian CACERES (15 Matthew SIM +84′); 8 Nick MONTGOMERY (c2),  19 Matt SIMON, 26 Fabio FERREIRA (Travis Major +58′)

Subs Not Used: 1. Matthew NASH (rgk),  16 Liam ROSE

Red Cards: Nil; Yellow Cards: Storm Roux 30

Coach: Phil Moss

Brisbane Roar FC: 1.Michael THEO (gk); 2.Jerome POLENZ,   13 Jade NORTH, 5.Corey BROWN; 4.Adam SAROTA, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (C); 22.Thomas BROICH, 28.Brandon BORRELLO,12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic 77)

Subs Not Used: 21 Jamie YOUNG (rgk), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 34.Shannon BRADY

Red Cards: Nil; Yellow Cards: Corey Brown 42

Coach: Frans Thijssen

Ratings and points

Player points:

3.  Luke Brattan (BR)

2  Thomas Broich  (BR)

1.  Jade North (BR)

Match 6/10

Pitch 8/10

Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones 6/10

Assistants: Sarah Ho, James Tesoriero; Fourth Official: Chris Young


Photo: Archive photo of a Mariners home game, by Lowenna Rappo for BOTN