Roar too strong for Mariners

The Brisbane Roar have secured their longest ever undefeated streak at home with a commanding 2-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium, which takes their run to seven matches.

The Brisbane Roar have secured their longest ever undefeated streak at home with a commanding 2-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium, which takes their run to seven matches.

Although separated by only one position on the Hyundai A-League ladder, with the Roar second and the Mariners third, Brisbane looked a class above their visiting opposition and were unlucky not to add to the brilliant goals scored by Thomas Broich and Ivan Franjic

“It was always going to be a tough one for us, but to the boys’ credit they worked really hard tonight when they had to,” said Roar coach Ange Postecoglou.

“We probably weren’t as smooth as we have been in other games, but I thought we still dominated the contest, and we scored two cracking goals which was pleasing as well.”

While happy to admit the Roar had been impressive in victory, Mariners coach Graham Arnold said that rust had played a big part in his side’s performance after coming off an 18-day break since their last game.

“We were rusty. The last game we played was October 2 against North Queensland,” he said

“I thought we played in fits and spurts.”

“We’ve got another bye this weekend and then that’s our three gone and we can get back into some rhythm and routine.”

The match started with a bang in the second minute, when Central Coast’s Rostyn Griffiths and Patrick Zwaanswijk were hit with yellow cards after Matt McKay was taken down hard and both teams converged on referee Chris Beath to voice opinions.

Roar skipper McKay went devastatingly close in 16th minute, showing great composure to slow the play and then direct a curling left footer around the keeper only to have his shot bounce off the framework.

Just minutes later Broich did even better. Taking the ball in heavy traffic on the left hand edge of the penalty area, the German import cut back hard onto his right foot, turning defender Pedj Bojic inside out, and then directed a beautifully weighted shot into the net.

The Mariners appeared to be feeling the effects of the long lay-off and, sluggish in defence, went close to conceding a second within the first half hour when Reinaldo had his one-on-one shot closed down by Matthew Ryan, after taking a clever ball from Massimo Murdocca.

With 10 minutes remaining in the half, the momentum was well and truly with the Roar, and again the visitors were forced to scramble as McKay, Reinaldo and Kosta Barbarouses all had touches inside the 18-yard but couldn’t find space for a shot with authority.

After having missed out on a slew of half-chances, the Roar committed their worst goal-front blunder in the 42nd minute when Reinaldo slid a shot across the face of the empty goal.

Struggling to hold onto another wobbling long-range strike from Broich, Mariners goalkeeper Matthew Ryan fumbled and then in his attempt to keep the ball from going out for a corner dragged the ball back into play to an unmarked Reinaldo who somehow found a way to miss.

Minutes later with the half ticking down, McKay very nearly hit the same post again, as he flashed into the area to head a cross from Franjic just inches wide.

Returning from the break, Reinaldo immediately had an opportunity to make amends, but after pushing hard to beat the Mariners’ defence in a footrace to the loose ball he could only manage to power his shot into the chest of Ryan.

Possibly feeling the effects of a hard clash with Newcastle just days ago, the Roar were taking a more conservative approach in the second half, opting for a counter attacking game with numbers behind the ball.

But when they did get numbers forward the second goal came through a beautiful strike from Franjic.

In his return to the Brisbane starting side the defender showed a hunger to score. Running onto a ball bobbling out of the Central Coast area, he got his head down and slammed the ball through the crowded box from 25-yards out, giving Ryan almost no chance to react.

Brisbane’s two-goal lead looked sure to grow as coach Ange Postecoglou rang the changes to bring on attacking weapons Mitch Nichols and Jean Carlos Solorzano, but the Mariners held out and the score remained unchanged at full time.

Brisbane Roar 2 (Broich 21, Franjic 61)
Central Coast Mariners 0
Crowd: 5051 @ Suncorp Stadium