Roar young gun’s first A-Leagues goal leads Brisbane to victory over Mariners in spicy affair

Watch the highlights from Brisbane Roar's 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening.

A first A-Leagues goal from Thomas Waddingham has helped Brisbane Roar return to the winners list, defeating Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in a fiery contest on Sunday evening.

Roar took the lead through Florin Berenguer, who fired home his second goal in two games after Nikola Mileusnic just kept the ball alive in the build-up.

Alou Kuol pulled one back for the home side, scoring his first goal in the league since returning to the Mariners, before Waddingham answered back on the brink of half-time.

Waddingham’s first league goal came only minutes after the Mariners had a penalty call overturned following a potential foul from Kai Trewin on Christian Theoharous.

The match descended into chaos after half-time, with both Joe Caletti and Harrison Steele receiving red cards following the interval for their respective sides, but Roar were able to hold firm to come away with their second win of the season at Industree Group Stadium.

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The result ensured the Mariners are still without a point to begin their Isuzu UTE A-League Championship defence. Central Coast’s fourth straight loss also means they are rooted to the bottom of the standings and hold a piece of unwanted history.

The defeat equals Brisbane’s record of having the longest losing streak to start a season of any reigning champion in the history of the competition, since their opponents started the 2014-15 season with four consecutive defeats.

It’s been a tough start to life under Mark Jackson, with the squad having to cope with a loaded schedule through their commitments in Asia plus an acclimatisation process with a new voice arriving at the helm on the eve of the season and a host of fresh faces on the pitch.

Brisbane – on the other hand – go into the international break with some momentum, bouncing back after a disappointing 5-2 loss to Wellington Phoenix last week and continuing a fine start to the Ross Aloisi era.

The Mariners started strongly, carrying the momentum from their win over Bali United in mid-week in the AFC Cup, with Kuol putting the Roar defence under pressure immediately, but blasted his effort wide.

Roar weathered the early period of Central Coast pressure and hit the front in the 19th minute, when Mileusnic just kept the ball alive and played it to Berenguer who tapped home from close range. The Mariners defenders, however, switched off thinking the ball had gone out for a goal-kick, allowing for the Frenchman to score with little pressure.

After VAR review, it was deemed that the ball was in play by a matter of millimetres.

Central Coast bounced back brilliantly and this time Kuol had his goal, getting on the end of a lovely through ball from Marco Tulio and burying his first in the competition since April 2021.

Shortly after, it seemed as if Jackson’s charges would have the opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot, when Theoharous went to ground after a challenge from Trewin. However, following yet another VAR review, it was overturned after the video assistant and referee Jonathan Barreiro deemed he went to ground with minimal contact.

Trewin would turn from villain to hero almost immediately, as he got forward down the right-flank and played a lovely first-time ball to Waddingham who buried his first goal in the A-Leagues.

Following the break, Central Coast gained a numerical advantage when Kuol was fouled by Caletti, earning the Roar defender a second yellow card and an early shower, as Brisbane went down to 10.

But their advantage lasted only six minutes as Steele was given his marching orders four minutes after coming onto the field. The Mariners midfielder caught Jay O’Shea with his studs raised and was immediately handed a straight red card, which was upheld after VAR review.

With time running out, 16-year-old Rylan Brownlie came within inches of doubling Brisbane’s lead and scoring his first in Roar colours, cannoning his effort off the crossbar.


From the early drama surrounding Florin Berenguer’s opener, to the disallowed penalty and to the two red cards in a fiery second-half, Sunday evening’s match quite literally had it all.

However, the most contentious of the lot would have to be the overturned penalty which could have – at the time – given the Central Coast Mariners the opportunity to take the lead late in the first-half.

The Mariners had started to gain some control of the contest after Alou Kuol’s equaliser, and their attack was beginning to impose themselves on the match. Christian Theoharous burst through the middle of the pitch and went to ground just inside the box after what looked to be a foul from Roar defender Kai Trewin.

However, on further inspection, it looked as if the Mariners winger went to ground with minimal contact, meaning after VAR intervention, referee Jonathan Barreiro overturned his initial decision.

Moments later, Thomas Waddingham had the ball in the back of the net from a Trewin cross and the rest is history.


Florin Berenguer has given a timely reminder of his qualities in the first month of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

The Frenchman was everywhere in Brisbane Roar’s win over the Mariners, scoring his second goal of the season and running the show from the middle of the park. Berenguer joined the club after a lengthy stint at Melbourne City, where he introduced himself to A-Leagues fans with performances just like this – namely in the 2021-22 season.

The midfielder was firing on all cylinders during that campaign before a hamstring injury on the eve of finals saw him miss over a month of action, returning just in time for finals where City went on to lose the Grand Final 2-0 to Western United.

Last season, he also struggled with injuries and fell behind the likes of Valon Berisha and Richard Van der Venne in the pecking order, meaning opportunities were limited.

But he has found his groove once more at his new home.

“You can see players enjoy the way we play, in the stadiums and on TV enjoy us,” he said on Paramount +.

“We’ve not been as good as we could, but, yeah, we’ve been building into something great, and myself, I enjoy, being part of this team, being with Ross (Aloisi) and the staff.”


Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Mark Jackson said: “I didn’t think we started the game particularly well,

“Once sorted that in the first half, we created some chances, and we looked a threat. We know Brisbane are a good side, but I thought in periods of the first half, we caused problems, we got the goal back.

“We had the penalty shout as well, which I’m really disappointed with, to be honest with you. So yeah, difficult moments in the first half.

“Second half, the boys gave everything and kept pushing, there was a swing with a red card for for Brisbane, and we thought we could take advantage of that and then unfortunately, we received a red card as well so it puts us on the back foot again.

“Right until the end, we created chances, and we just can’t put them away on it.

“We’re getting closer every every game… My job is to put things right and get a win on the board because it’s not acceptable.

“We know what we need to do and we need to address things with the group we have, to get things right and then if we need to evolve the squad, then I’m sure we’ll have the capability to do that but here and now we have to work with the players we have.

“We know that we’re disappointed. I’m disappointed. The players are disappointed. We know where we are. We know what we need to do and we have to action that as soon as possible.”

Brisbane Roar coach Ross Aloisi said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic with the way the players performed tonight.

“I thought the players did extremely well and the young kids that came on and the ones that haven’t been playing for a long period of time, that’s exactly what we want from the Brisbane Roar and we got that today.”


Brisbane Roar head into the international break among a logjam of sides from 1st down to 6th who are only separated by only a single point on the standings.

Ross Aloisi’s side have shown at their best they can be devastating, but consistency will be the key when they return to action on November 26 against Perth Glory at home.

Meanwhile, Mark Jackson will be looking for answers during the break as the Central Coast Mariners hope to turn the tide when play resumes in a fortnight.

But the schedule doesn’t get any lighter when they return to action. First up, they face arch-rivals Newcastle Jets in the first F3 Derby of the Isuzu UTE A-League season on November 25 at McDonald Jones Stadium, before hosting Terengganu in the AFC Cup group stage four days later – which could seal their passage to the next phase – and then Melbourne Victory on December 3.