A stunning five-goal second half saw Brisbane Roar share the points in an exciting 3-3 draw with Central Coast Mariners in their Hyundai A-League Round 12 clash in Gosford today.
The Roar led 1-0 at half time but went behind twice in the second half before bravely fighting back to take a point back to Brisbane and stay in seventh place on the table, three points ahead of the eighth-placed Mariners.
Striker Jean Carlos Solorzano was a two-goal hero for the Roar while the equaliser at 2-2 came from defender James Donachie, the 21-year-old’s first goal in 41 Hyundai A-League appearances.
“It was a team effort. We performed but we’re a bit disappointed we didn’t take away the win,’’ Donachie said.
It was only the second five-goal half in the Hyundai A-League this season.
Skilful control by Solorzano gave the Roar the lead in the final minute of the first half.
Good work by Henrique set up Steven Lustica about 25m out and his through ball ricocheted off the Mariners defence to Solorzano, who cleverly controlled on his chest, turned and fired an unstoppable low shot from the right into the far left of the goal.
It was Costa Rican’s first goal in the Hyundai A-League since 2011.
The Roar enjoyed a better share of possession in the first half but were unable to convert numerous opportunities. Dimitri Petratos, Daniel Bowles, Solorzano and Lustica all had half chances but were unable to finish or keep their shots on target.
The second half though was all entertainment.
In the 56th minute the Mariners’ Eddie Bosnar rose above the Brisbane defence to meet a pinpoint cross from Anthony Caceres and powerfully head past Roar keeper Jamie Young.
It was only Bosnar’s second A-League goal but more significantly his team’s first in 404 minutes of Hyundai A-League football. It atoned for his 49th minute shot being blocked on an indirect free kick from just metres out after Young picked up a ball ruled to have been passed back by Donachie.
With the drought broken, the Mariners scored again in the 63rd minute when successive shots from Nick Fitzgerald and Matt Simon were blocked by Young and the Roar defence before Simon slotted away his side’s third attempt in a six-yard box scramble.
Donachie levelled the scores in the 71st minute through a set-piece corner. He rose above Mariners fullback Storm Roux to head home Petratos’ far-post corner.
Mariners substitute Kim Seung-yong put the home side ahead in the 80th minute when he loomed unmarked on the far post to score after Young had parried a Simon shot after a long weaving run through the Roar middle by Mitch Duke.
With a home win looking likely Solorzano suddenly silenced the Mariners fans when he netted a deserved equaliser for the Roar in the 81st minute.
The move began with a delightful overlap between Petratos and Bowles, who crossed low and hard into the centre of the goal. The fleet-footed Solarzano got away from his marker and slotted in his second for the game and the Roar’s third.
There was one final act of top skill and heroics from Donachie when he stretched his tall frame at the far post in the 84th minute to head over the backline a looping Mariners shot which appeared goal-bound.
Matt McKay, playing a club record 163rd Hyundai A-League match, came in for special attention from the Mariners and was felled several times in the first half.
Henrique, who injured his knee two weeks ago against Adelaide had to be substituted again, this time after he was hurt in a rough high tackle by Roux in the 55th minute.
Midfielder Luke Brattan, who went off injured in the Roar’s previous game against Adelaide, did not travel to Gosford.
Instead he stayed in Brisbane to ensure he is 100 per cent fit for the Roar’s game against Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday, a match fellow midfielder McKay will miss as he now goes into camp with the Socceroos to begin preparations for the AFC Asian Cup next month.
Hyundai A-League Round 12
Saturday, 27 December, 2014 at Central Coast Stadium,Gosford
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Eddy BOSNAR 56’, Matt SIMON 63’, KIM Seung-Yong 80’)
Brisbane Roar 3 (Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 45’ and 81’, James DONACHIE 71')
Referee: Matthew Conger
Central Coast Mariners: 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (C), 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (Gk), 15.Matt SIM (9.Mitchell DUKE 62’), 18.Glen TRIFIRO (26.KIM Seung-Yong 72’), 19.Matt SIMON, 25.Eddy BOSNAR.
Substitutes not used: 1.Matt NASH (gk), 16. Liam ROSE, 17.Richard VERNES.
Yellow cards: 25.Eddy BOSNAR 56’, 19.Matt SIMON 63’, 26.KIM Seung-Yong 80’
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE (28.Brandon BORRELLO 55’), 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS.
Substitutes not used: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 16.Devante CLUT, 30.Matt ACTON (gk),
Yellow cards: 14.Daniel BOWLES 65’, 15.James DONACHIE 89’
Red cards: Nil