Mariners claim narrow Roar win

Tomas Rogic produced a classy 80th-minute strike to help Central Coast Mariners to a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Tomas Rogic produced a classy 80th-minute strike to help Central Coast Mariners to a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

With the game looking destined to end in a goalless draw, Rogic shrugged off a challenge from Erik Paartalu ten minutes from time before firing past Michael Theo to give the Mariners the win in hot Queensland conditions.

Despite the only goal of the game coming close to full-time, the friendly fixture provided entertaining fare for the crowd at Stockland Stadium throughout, with both teams committed to playing enterprising, attacking football.

The Mariners commenced the match on the front foot with creative midfielder Rogic giving Brisbane-s defence cause for concern.

Strong work by Josh Rose on the left side opened Rogic-s first opportunity, with the attacking midfielder-s powerful effort flying just over the crossbar. Soon after, Rogic sent a smart shot centimetres wide of Theo-s post.

Rado Vidosic-s team began to see their combinations click midway through the first half and in the 35th minute nearly scored. Ivan Franjic cut in from the right only to see his shot go just wide.

Two minutes later Mariners keeper Mathew Ryan was forced into a sharp save from a Nick Fitzgerald shot, before Paartalu crossed the rebound into the box. Roar skipper Matt Smith sent his header past the post.

Less than 60 seconds later, young Central Coast attacker Mitchell Duke fired a powerful effort at Theo, however the experienced custodian did well to stop the shot.

Michael McGlinchey was the first player to go close to opening the scoring after the interval. In the 54th minute McGlinchey chipped Theo, but unfortunately for the Kiwi his delicate effort also flew over the woodwork.

Both coaches made a number of substitutions after the hour mark and this did seem to somewhat interrupt the flow of the game and the creation of clear-cut chances.

But with little life left in the match, Rogic produced a fine individual effort to win the friendly duel.

Post match Central Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold said he was delighted with the way his team controlled the play for large portions of the game.

“I thought we dominated the game and held possession very well in really hot conditions,” Arnold said.

“Mat Ryan had a quiet day in goals and probably the only negative for us is that a few of our players suffered some slight knocks.”

“It-s nothing too serious but Patrick (Zwaanswijk), Troy (Hearfield) and Mitchell (Duke) all had to come off with minor complaints.”

“But given we played the way we did in extreme heat, I believe we are now tactically, physically and mentally ready for the first round against Western Sydney," he said.

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