Gold Coast kicks off in style

The Hyundai A-League's newest teams went head-to-head in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night at Skilled Park, with Gold Coast United grabbing two late goals to emerge with a 2-0 win over North Queensland Fury.

The Hyundai A-League's newest teams went head-to-head in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night at Skilled Park, with Gold Coast United grabbing two late goals to emerge with a 2-0 win over North Queensland Fury.

Former Melbourne Victory player Steve Pantelidis will go down as the first goal-scorer in United history after finding the net in the 85th minute before Steve Lustica followed up with the second in the 90th minute.

Both teams were missing key players, the hosts without Qantas Socceroo Jason Culina, striker Shane Smeltz and their three Brazilians Robson, Milson and Jefferson while the Fury couldn't call on former England striker Robbie Fowler.

The first real chance of the game fell to the home side nearing the quarter-hour mark but after being put through by Joel Porter, Adam Griffiths was unable to beat Fury goalkeeper Paul Henderson.

Minutes later John Tambouras cut off a cross before it could reach Porter but the visitors were fortunate to remain on level terms when Michael Thwaite's header from the resulting corner had to be cleared off the line.

North Queensland was denied by United keeper Scott Higgins just before the break after Chris Grossman found the ball only metres out, before a Fury corner quickly became a chance at the other end that was stopped by Henderson's replacement Justin Pasfield.

Pasfield twice more came to the fore for North Queensland, tipping a cracking shot from Gold Coast replacement Mitch Bevan over the bar and then also blocking the ball after Porter fired in a shot.

There was little Pasfield could do with minutes remaining though when Bevan and Porter both got involved to set up Pantelidis for the opener which he smashed home from 10 metres.

And just seconds before the end youngster Lustica was put into space and he just got to the ball before Pasfield, allowing him to nudge it past the stranded keeper and then tap into the empty net.

Gold Coast United 2 (Steve Pantelidis 85', Steve Lustica 90') North Queensland Fury 0 @Skilled Park Referee: Matthew Gillett