Fighting Roar grab draw
A stunning strike from debutant James Meyer has seen Brisbane Roar take a deserved point.
A stunning strike from debutant James Meyer has seen Brisbane Roar take a deserved point on the road after an entertaining six goal thriller against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
The determination and perseverance that has become typical of the Brisbane players this season was again on display, coming from behind twice despite playing with ten men for the last 15 minutes after Milan Susak was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.
The result means Brisbane have set a new Hyundai A-League record of 11 games unbeaten away from home.
The fixture took place as heartbreak was occurring in and around the Brisbane area and both sides showed their support for those suffering in their hometown by donning black armbands at Bluetongue Stadium.
After a busy opening period, Brisbane gave themselves a good foundation to collect maximum points from the encounter by netting the first goal on 23 minutes, courtesy of Erik Paartalu-s second goal of the Hyundai A-League season.
A corner from Thomas Broich did well to pick out the head of Paartalu and after Central Coast gloveman Matt Ryan came off his line, the defensive midfielder-s towering presence was enough to see him out-jump the Mariners backline and head home from close range.
The contest was shaping up to be a tough midfield battle and spurred on by their vocal home crowd, the Central Coast side found themselves on level terms with six minutes left to play in the first half.
Collecting a neat through ball from the midfield, Adam Kwasnik took the ball in his stride and coolly slid it past Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos to make the score 1-1.
The Mariners- potency in front of goal continued early in the second period, Brisbane conceding another goal within two minutes of the restart.
Central Coast were displaying their offensive prowess from set pieces and it was from a Patricio Perez free kick from which they snatched the lead - Matt Simon-s quick thinking inside the six yard box giving his side the advantage.
The fixture really started to open up and the teams were putting on an end-to-end football display fitting of the match-s top of the table status.
German import Thomas Broich took things into his own hands after seeing his side fall behind, latching onto a sweet touch from striker Jean Carlos Solorzano to slam home inside the area with inch-perfect precision.
The strike gave Brisbane momentum going forward but the Roar were dealt a blow with a quarter of an hour left on the clock when Milan Susak was sent off by referee Peter Green for a second bookable offence.
Susak challenged Central Coast left-back Josh Rose in the box and despite appearing to cleanly win the ball, Green awarded a penalty and sent the Roar defender from the ground.
After Perez converted the resulting penalty for the home side, Brisbane-s unbeaten streak looked like it could be in jeopardy until debutant Meyer made his mark on the Hyundai A-League just three minutes after taking the field.
Finding space outside the penalty box, Meyer showed incredible technique and poise on the ball to send it soaring past Ryan in the Mariners goal and salvage a point for the visitors.
Late drama threatened to ensue with defender Luke DeVere clearing a last minute chance off the line before Kosta Barbarouses had a golden opportunity to snatch the winner at the other end of the field, but referee Green blew the whistle before either side had time to find the elusive goal.
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou lauded his player's efforts, given all the drama unfolding back in the Queensland capital.
"Tonight it was important to try and give the people of Queensland something to cheer about," Postecoglou said.
"We spoke about it before the game, we wanted to represent the city and the state and put in a massive effort.
"The boys never give in."
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Kwasnik 37-, Simon 47-, Perez (pen) 74-) Brisabane Roar 3 (Paartalu 23-, Broich 65-, Meyer 79-)
Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ (22. Mustafa AMINI 84-), 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 23. Adam KWASNIK (2. Daniel McBREEN 84-).
Subs not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON.
Yellow Cards: Bojic 59-
Red Cards: None
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (c), 6. Erik PAARTALU (21. James MEYER 74-), 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (18. Luke BRATTAN 74-), 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (12. Matthew MUNDY 81-), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK.
Subs not Used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE.
Yellow Cards: Paartalu 17-, Barbarouses 45-, Theoklitos 73-, Nichols 90-
Red Cards: Susak 73-
Referee: Peter GREEN
Crowd: 7,312 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.