The Central Coast Mariners have suffered an unfortunate loss to Brisbane Roar after conceding two second half spot kicks in tonight’s Hyundai A-League clash at Central Coast Stadium resulting in a 2-0 victory to the away side.
Full focus for the yellow and navy turns to Tuesday night’s AFC Champions League bout after two successful penalty conversions, one by Brisbane’s Jean Carlos Solorzano in the 51st minute and the other from Andrija Kaluderovic in stoppage time.
Head Coach Phil Moss ensured the fans that his men would bounce back from tonight’s result and noted that belief is there to finish in the final six – he also welcomed Tuesday’s quick Asian Champions League turnaround.
“It’s gonna be tough and mathematically while we’re still in there, we are in the race for a finals spot. We won’t give up until the last game of the season has been played.
“We’ve got a great game coming up on Tuesday and we will dust ourselves off tomorrow morning and if we get through that we’ve got a busy schedule coming up between now and the end of the season and it’s something we will relish,” Moss said.
The Mariners have plenty of positives to take from tonight’s match with a solid performance by new recruit Fabio Ferreira who played 58 minutes and contributed to a dominant Mariners’ first half.
“I’d rank that first half performance up there as one of the best this season but at the end of the day you need goals on the end of good football, we had some chances in our first half and we didn’t take them.
“Fabio did well in his first performance for the club and obviously he will get more familiar with the way we play but it’s disappointing that we couldn’t put two halves together,” Moss said.
The Mariners newest signing was in the thick of the action for most of the first half that began with an unrewarded penalty shout after he was tackled in the box by James Donachie in the third minute of play.
Just moments later the Portuguese flyer sent in a cross that found Matt Simon, only for his volley to be blocked by Brisbane custodian Michael Theo.
Roar’s shot stopper was called into action again in the 16th minute, when Nick Montgomery found space on the western touchline and guided a cross onto the head of John Hutchinson.
The Mariners’ skipper flicked his effort on target, but Theo positioned himself well to comfortably glove the attempt toward his goal.
Ferreira continued to cause havoc down the right flank and again found himself with possession in a dangerous position 26 minutes in, where he was brought down illegally resulting in a free kick 25 yards from goal.
Eddy Bosnar stood over the dead ball and his imposing strike cleared the wall and into the chest of Theo that continued the impressive Mariners’ first half.
Perhaps the best chance for the visitors came five minutes from the interval, when a miscued clearance from Liam Reddy fell into the lap of Thomas Broich, affording the German a one-on-one with the Mariners’ glove man.
Despite Brandon Borrello finding himself free in the middle of the box, Broich went for glory but was denied by an outstretched Reddy who moved well to his right that sent both teams into the sheds on level terms after a convincing Central Coast first half that deserved more.
Just moments into the second half it was an awkward cross that took a deflection off Broich on the way through and skidded into the arm of an unintentional Bosnar who had no choice but to let the ball strike his arm, resulting in a penalty. Solorzano made no mistake with his spot kick, nestling his effort into the bottom corner to send the away side 1-0 up.
After a strong 58 minute performance Ferreira was relieved of his duties in preparation for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier.
“ACL is a welcomed distraction from tonight so we can come in tomorrow and refocus on something totally different because there’s a whole new buzz around the ACL.
"We’ve got a tough challenge in Guangzhou R&F and we have to make sure we don’t give them an easy ride on Monday night,” Moss said.
The goal was not enough to deter the efforts of the yellow and navy and in the 81st minute, Jacob Poscoliero floated a precision cross into the penalty area and found Matt Simon, who out muscled Jade North to chest the ball down on the edge of the box. The ball fell perfectly for birthday boy Nick Fitzgerald who sent his powerful volley just inches over the crossbar.
The final 10 minutes of play were quite open, until a loose foot from substitute Anthony Kalik in the corner of the box gave Brisbane a chance to seal the win from the spot in stoppage time. Brisbane’s Serbian debutant Kaluderovic made no mistake, going the same way as Solorzano for the same result.
“The penalties were just unlucky, the first one Bosnar read the flight of the ball, he’s gone to head the ball with his arms up to balance him, a deflection from Broich and it hits him on the elbow. Penalty one nil.
“For the second penalty there was a little bit of contact there from young Anthony who will learn from it, grow from it and its all part of learning what it’s about to becoming a professional footballer,” Moss said.
All eyes now turn to Tuesday night for the club’s 2015 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off that Phil Moss and his men will approach with full confidence. A win will see the yellow and navy progress through to a fifth AFC Champions League group stage – the most of any Hyundai A-League club.
Central Coast Mariners: 0
Brisbane Roar: 2 (12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (51', P), 9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC (90' +2', P)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Central Coast Mariners: 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c) (20. Anthony KALIK 71’), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES (15.Matt SIM 83’), 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 19.Matt SIMON, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26. Fabio FERREIRA (14.Travis MAJOR 58’)
Substitutes not used: 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 16. Liam ROSE,
Yellow cards: 2.Storm ROUX 30’
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (GK), 2. Jerome POLENZ, 4. Adam SAROTA, 5. Corey BROWN, 12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC 77’), 13. Jade NORTH, 15. James DONACHIE, 17. Matthew MCKAY (c), 18. Luke BRATTAN, 22. Thomas BROICH, 28. Brandon BORRELLO
Substitutes not used: 21. Jamie YOUNG, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 8 Steven LUSTICA, , 34. Shannon BRADY
Yellow cards: 5. Corey BROWN 40’