Brisbane Roar turned on the style to make it two straight wins in overpowering Central Coast Mariners 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Brandon Borrello netted either side of half time to cap a comfortable Roar victory and keep alive the hosts’ perfect start to the season.
Mariners cut the deficit at the death through Josh Bingham but rarely kept pace with John Aloisi’s side.
WHAT THEY SAID
"I’m no hero. It’s great for the fans, they get to come onto the pitch tonight and get a photo with us. It’s great that we got the win and they can celebrate with us tonight.
The boss has kept the off-field drama away from the playing group. We’ve worked so hard in the pre-season and it’s great that we can finally show the A-League." - Roar goalscorer Brandon Borrello told Fox Sports
1-0 Brandon Borrello (14’) – Roar needed to make the most of their energetic opening and Brandon Borrello emphatically delivered. Smartly found by Jamie Maclaren, the winger steadied and lashed a shot across Liam Reddy which the ‘keeper could only help into the top corner.
2-0 Brandon Borrello (60’) – If Borrello’s first was all about the finish, his second owed entirely to a delightful team move. Corona, Jack Hingert and Maclaren all played neat parts in teeing up Borrello to fire into the roof of the net from the six yard box.
2-1 Josh Bingham (88’) – Jake McGing perfectly picked the run of Fabio Ferreira into the penalty area and the attacker did exactly what was required, pulling a cutback from the byline for Josh Bingham to touch home.
Jamie Maclaren announced himself as a Golden Boot contender in the opening round with a well-taken brace away to Western Sydney Wanderers.
His finishing was less assured on his first start at Suncorp Stadium, but the striker’s persistent harrying of Central Coast’s young defence remained as usual.
The 22-year-old’s buzzing nature made the difference for the opener as he first rode an earlier challenge, before bouncing to his feet to win the second ball and intelligently find the run of Borrello.
Brandon Borrello’s match-winning second staked Brisbane Roar’s early claim for goal of the season.
Corona’s deft touch to release Jack Hingert in defence was the major highlight in a glorious four-player combination, narrowly shading Hingert’s own searching pass into the path of Jamie Maclaren.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
If Tony Walmsley is to persist with his inexperienced back four, the Mariners boss will expect better protection from a mobile midfield.
Now without John Hutchinson – and having withdrawn Nick Montgomery shortly after the hour – Central Coast quickly need to find a glue to plug the holes which appeared with alarming regularity in the first half.
THE FINAL WORD
Are Brisbane back already? The three-time champions swarmed forward in full flow for the entire first 45 minutes, reminiscent of their vintage best.
Roar should have found more reward for their regular early openings but ultimately did enough to make it two straight wins to commence the Aloisi era.
Mariners boss Tony Walmsley will know he has problems to solve ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Melbourne City, despite salvaging a late positive through Josh Bingham.
Brisbane Roar: Theo (gk), Hingert, Bowles, North, Brown, Corona, Lustica (Petratos 76’), McKay (c), Borrello, Maclaren (Clut 90’+1), Broich
Central Coast Mariners: Reddy (gk), Roux, Ascroft, McGing, Neill, Montgomery (Rose 67’), Fitzgerald, Ferreira, Caceres (Heffernan 65’), Austin (Bingham 78’), O’Donovan
Scorers: Borrello 14’, 60’ Josh Bingham 88’
Red Cards: Nil
Yellow Cards: McGing 24’, Ascroft 36’, Montgomery 54’, Fitzgerald 90’+2
Conditions: 25°C, sunny
Attendance: 14,471 @ Suncorp Stadium