Brisbane Roar have snatched all three points against the Mariners on Sunday afternoon with a majestic late strike from Dimitri Petratos settling the contest in Gosford.
The Roar outnumbered the Mariners 17 shots to 10 but in truth clear cut chances were hard to come by as Brisbane notched a 1-0 win in the final match of Round 11.
Striker Jamie Maclaren had the best chance of the first-half when he got in behind the Mariners defence, bringing a long ball down with his chest before firing his shot into the near post.
Winger Mitch Austin looked the most threatening going forward for the home side but was rarely allowed the chance to shoot on his favoured left foot.
Fabio Ferreira made his much awaited return from injury via the Mariners bench, while Storm Roux and Nick Fitzgerald were both deployed in more attacking roles.
For the visitors, Steven Lustica was rewarded for his goal last weekend with a starting berth but had to be substituted at half-time with a hip complaint.
The final result sees Brisbane move back up to second spot while the Mariners remain rooted to the foot of the ladder having now lost five straight.
0-1 Petratos (85’) - The substitute was picked out on the edge of the box by Solorzano and cut back inside to create some space for himself. Petratos unleashed a powerful left-footed strike, that left Izzo rooted to the spot as it curled inside his far post.
Shane Stefanutto, who was making his 250th appearance combining NSL and A-League matches, was lucky not to be shown a red card in the first-half. The defender, having already picked up an early booking, appeared to clip Roy O’Donovan when he was in the clear. Referee Chris Beath had a decision to make after the Irishaman went down but ruled there was no foul much to the disbelief of the home fans.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Brisbane Roar have now won four straight against the Mariners which equals their longest ever winning streak against them in the league.
Brisbane Roar have now scored nine goals in their last three matches against Central Coast, conceding only two in the process.
Central Coast Mariners have scored just eight goals in their last ten A-League matches, earning only two draws in that span (L8).
The Mariners thought they had grabbed a dramatic late equliser off the boot of Josh Rose, who was playing his 150th match in the Yellow and Navy. The celebrations were short-lived however with a trio of Central Coast players interfering with play while off-side and the goal was correctly struck off.
Steve Lustica. The Roar midfielder had to be subbed at the break with a hip injury, with Javi Hervás making his fifth appearance for Brisbane.
Striker Jamie Maclaren also had to be substituted due to injury at the start of the second-half following a shin collision with Harry Ascroft. Jean Carlos Solorzano was his replacement.
THE FINAL WORD
With the Reds and Glory both going on unbeaten runs the Mariners badly needed to get something out of this match but it wasn't to be as they again walked away from Gosford empty handed.
Whether it was the heat or a change in tactics, the Mariners appeared to deviate from their all-out attacking gameplan as they were much more disciplined in defence but just couldn’t hang on at the death.
Brisbane created the better chances and will feel they fully deserved their victory. The Roar are now just two points behind the Wanderers, with the race for the Premiers Plate set to further heat up over summer.
Central Coast Mariners: Izzo (gk), Josh Rose, Poscoliero (Caceres 59’), Ascroft, McGing, Austin, Roux, Montgomery (c) (Ferreira) , Liam Rose (Sim 70’), Fitzgerald, O'Donovan
Brisbane Roar: Young (gk), North, Stefanutto, Bowles, Hingert, Corona, McKay (c), Lustica (Hervas 46’), Broich, Maclaren (Solorzano 56’), Henrique (Petratos 72’)
Scorers: Petratos 85’
Yellow cards: Stefanutto (6’), Corona (26’), Ascroft (37’)
Red cards: nil
Conditions: 31°C, humid