DANIEL McBreen’s 14th goal of the season ensured Central Coast Mariners remain unbeaten in 2013, with Graham Arnold’s men securing a 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
DANIEL McBreen-s 14th goal of the season ensured Central Coast Mariners remain unbeaten in 2013, with Graham Arnold-s men securing a 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Michael McGlinchey-s clinical eighth minute strike gave the Mariners a deserved lead at the break, however Roar produced a far more polished performance in the second stanza to hold a 2-1 advantage with just ten minutes to play.
Nevertheless, McBreen-s powerful 80th minute goal after good work between substitute Mitchell Duke and right-stopper Zachary Anderson earned the Mariners a point in the Queensland capital, cancelling out Besart Berisha-s second half brace.
The Mariners started the match brightly and took the lead less than ten minutes in. McGlinchey fired home clinically from eight-yards after a fluent move down the left resulted in Roar stopper Matthew Jurman failing to clear Mile Sterjovski-s cross.
Soon after McGlinchey was involved in a potentially match defining moment with new Roar recruit and former Consadole Sapporo defender Jade North. After robbing North of possession, the nimble New Zealander appeared to be dragged down by the former Newcastle Jets player who also looked to be the last defender. Nevertheless, referee Lucien Laverdure deemed that no indiscretion had been made.
Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan made a smart save in the 18th minute when Brisbane midfielder Luke Brattan floated in a free kick, however beyond this timely intervention the gun Central Coast custodian was largely untroubled in the opening 45.
And, it was McBreen who had the last real opportunity to add to the scoreboard shortly before half time. The evergreen marksman-s shot following neat work by Oliver Bozanic and Joshua Rose was palmed away by Michael Theo before being cleared by Shane Stefanutto.
Roar made the early running in the second stanza and found themselves back on level terms just two minutes after the break. Thomas Broich chipped in a well-weighted cross that Berisha gently directed past Ryan to restore parity to clash.
Ivan Franjic should have given Roar the lead in the 55th minute when he headed wide of goal from a good position, while Duke was proving influential from the pine as he combined with Bernie Ibini to create a half-chance for McGlinchey 57 minutes in.
But it was Berisha who would give Brisbane the lead in the 69th minute. Roar new boy Stefan Nijland played an inch-perfect pass to Stefanutto down the left, who fired a crisp cross into the box. Berisha made no mistake from close range, slamming the ball into the back of the net after meeting Stefanutto-s centre with purpose.
Central Coast boss Graham Arnold has stressed all season the need for his team to be resolute and collect points consistently away from home, and the Mariners showed why they are such a tough team to beat by turning the match on its head late on.
Indeed, with just ten minutes to go Duke prodded the ball into the box with Anderson skilfully touching the pass into the path of McBreen. From just inside the area, McBreen rifled a fierce left foot drive beyond Theo to ensure his team departed Suncorp Stadium with a further point added to their impressive season-s tally.
In fact, the Mariners looked the more likely team to snatch all three points late on, with Duke probing around the penalty box and Rose forcing a sharp save from Theo.
Following the game Arnold said he was satisfied with the draw away from home.
“We knew Brisbane would fight back,” he said. “I am happy with a point. I thought we played good in patches and we-re a bit down on numbers at the moment.”
“We had a young side out there tonight if you look at the way we finished the game. It-s a tough game to come up here to Brisbane and they got a bit of confidence when they got the goal at the start of the second half.”
“(But) I couldn-t be prouder of our boys. They worked extremely hard.”
Brisbane Roar 2 (Berisha 47-, 69-) Central Coast Mariners 2 (McGlinchey 8-, McBreen 80-) Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theo (Gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matthew Jurman (19. Jack Hingert 46-), 5. Ivan Franjic, 13. Jade North, 8. Massimo Murdocca (11. Ben Halloran 9-), 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 7. Besart Berisha, 14. Steven Lustica (9. Stefan Nijland 64-), 22. Thomas Broich Substitutes not used: 20. Matthew Acton (Gk) Yellow cards: Berisha 13-, Jurman 30-, Lustica 34-, Franjic 42-, Stefanutto 83- Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic (17. Anthony Caceres 60-), 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury (13. Brent Griffiths 90+4-), 21. Mile Sterjovski (19. Mile Sterjovski 56-) Substitutes not used: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk) Yellow cards: Bozanic 32-, Sainsbury 55-, McGlinchey 86- Red cards: Nil
Referee: Lucien Laverdure Attendance: 10,604