Second half goals sink Mariners at Suncorp

A tough night in Brisbane ended in defeat for the Mariners on Saturday night, with second half goals from Roy O’Donovan and Scott Neville enough for Brisbane Roar to take the three points.

The match started slowly with the hosts having the run of play early, but they were kept at bay by the Mariners’ backline and Mark Birighitti and the best chance of the opening exchanges fell to the visitors.

Birighitti denied Dylan Wenzel-Halls down one end and moments later Eunsun Kim was sent through on goal, only to thunder his effort against the crossbar as the Mariners went so close to a lead.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco fizzed an effort wide and Matt Simon was denied by Jamie Young after a good turn in the area, before it was Birighitti’s turn to again save the day as he produced a stunning one-on-one stop to deny O’Donovan racing towards the Mariners goal on the stroke of half-time.

Gallifuoco made a timely intervention moments later and the scores remained level at half-time, and chances were few and far between as the second period got underway.

Promising build-up play from the Mariners lead to a chance for Danny DeSilva on the edge of the area only for his chip to go high of Young’s goal and shortly after Birighitti stuck out a hand once more to deny Wenzel-Halls again.

The young forward created the Roar’s first goal two minutes later though, crossing past Kye Rowles and finding O’Donovan who managed to get a touch and send the ball past Birighitti and in.

Alen Stajcic made two immediate changes as Sam Silvera and Jordan Murray replaced DeSilva and Simon but they were unable to stop the Roar going two goals up as Neville headed home from a corner with 24 minutes left to play.

Silvera almost created a lifeline inside the final 10 minutes as he combined neatly with Lewis Miller to find space in the area but his shot was parried by Young and the rebound evaded Tommy Oar at the back post.

That was it for the Mariners though, and they will sit next weekend out with the bye before travelling to face Sydney FC on the road in round 10.

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