United happy with Fury win
A 1-0 victory over North Queensland Fury in Gold Coast United’s final pre-season hit out has instilled coach Miron Bleiberg with plenty of optimism as his squad prepares for its opening match of the new A-league season.
A 1-0 victory over North Queensland Fury in Gold Coast United-s final pre-season hit out has instilled coach Miron Bleiberg with plenty of optimism as his squad prepares for its opening match of the new A-league season.
Exciting youngster Golgol Mebrahtu netted the game's solitary goal in the 15th minute, when he snuck in behind the Fury defence and rounded keeper Justin Pasfield to tuck home neatly into the bottom corner.
North Queensland provided little resistance as Gold Coast controlled the match with its trademark passing game and on several occasions the home-side was unlucky not to extend the early lead courtesy of man-of-the-match Joel Porter.
Taking up a lone striker role, Porter had his best chance to get on the score sheet in the 20th minute but needed more selfishness than selflessness, as he opted to pass to skipper Jason Culina instead of pulling the trigger from close range.
Speaking after the match on Sunday afternoon Bleiberg said there were pleasing signs shown by his players and agreed that with more sharpness in the squad a greater improvement would naturally follow.
"Everybody could have seen that Gold Coast United was the better team and with a bit more sharpness the margin could have been bigger, but it wasn-t easy and we worked hard for it," the United mastermind said.
"Overall we showed much more fluency and rhythm in our game but the opposition was quite well organised."
"Golgol Mebrahtu played well and he-s another one who has come of age, every practice game he-s scored and he-s turned into a young strong man and he-s a player for the future no doubt."
Pleased with how Porter handled himself as the leading man up-front Bleiberg added: "He played the role that Shane Smeltz usually plays and he proved himself. He was brilliant in the first-half and he played like an out-and-out centre forward."
"He caused them a lot of trouble and he could of scored if he was a bit more selfish...he was in the thick and thin of everything."
Held at Carrara Oval the friendly struggled for rhythm in parts due largely to the revolving door of substitutions being made, however the signs are ominous for a second successful assault on the A-League by Gold Coast.
Playing his first game back in the yellow since returning from the World Cup in South Africa, Shane Smeltz was impressive to say the least and coming on in the second half, the All White looked a cut above the rest, weaving and side-stepping his way past new Fury signing Mark Hughes who was powerless to stop his lighting movement.
United-s midfield also had plenty of spark about it during the game, and the late pairing of Zenon Caravella, Culina and Michael Thwaite allowed for plenty of creativity and service to be delivered upfront.
Looking comfortable back in the heart of defence, Dino Djulbic provided some muscle alongside Kristian Rees and the central pair marshalled the back four into starving the lightning quick David Williams and Dutch target man Dyron Daal of any meaningful time and space.
With formal preparations for the upcoming A-league season complete, Gold Coast have just two weeks until their Round 1 blockbuster derby takes place against the Brisbane Roar at Skilled Park on August 8.