It’s been another bumper week of action here in Queensland. Let’s get right into it.
Redlands United 2-3 Sunshine Coast Fire, Cleveland, 9 July
These two sides went in with massively differing fortunes – the Fire having won two in a row, while Redlands had won just two in their last six. It was shaping up as a dour first half, with Graham Fyfe’s 40 yard shot sailing just over the bar for Redlands looking to be the highlight. Moments before half time, Jeremy Stewart latched onto a poorly dealt with throw-in to score from 10 yards and give the Fire the lead. Early in the second half, Paul Mikula had a golden chance to double the advantage for the Fire, but his header from 6 yards was straight into the ground and bounced over. On 53 minutes, Lucas Chaim found the ball at his feet after Sam Nickolls fumbled, and duly slotted home from 10 yards to pull Redlands level. That would last just three minutes, as Paul Mikula headed high this time and just saw his header sneak across the line off the underside of the crossbar. Shoichi Koshimizu would make the game look more comfortable as his sliding shot off a pass from Jeremy Stewart found the back of the net on 70 minutes. Three minutes later though, Lucas Chaim would get a double, as his shot from the edge of the penalty area got past Sam Nickolls. While Redlands would throw everything forward late, they failed to find an equaliser. In fact, Kobe Fuller and Paul Brownlie both had great chances for the Fire to pull further in front. The result sees the Fire extend their winning run to three, while Redlands fall to two wins in seven.
Brisbane Strikers 1-2 Olympic FC, Brisbane, 9 July
An exciting matchup between two of the form sides in the competition. It was a very open start to the game, as both sides looked to gain an early lead. On 11 minutes, a Sam Cronin through-ball was poorly dealt with by the Strikers defence, before Ramone Close found the ball and tapped into an empty net. On 24 minutes, the Strikers would pull level when Jake Marshall headed home from a Trent Clulow free kick. Controversy would strike on 40 minutes though, as Olympic’s Shane Stefanutto was sent off for a last man challenge on Rhys Meredith. The Strikers struggled to take advantage of the extra man, before Kristian Waters headed home a Danny Byrne corner to give Olympic the lead. The Strikers pushed in search of an equaliser but were unable to find one, rarely threatening the Olympic goal.
Moreton Bay United 2-2 SWQ Thunder, Brisbane, 9 July
Moreton Bay looked to regain some of their form against lowly SWQ Thunder. Things were looking good, as Jonathan Marraiya tapped home Taiga Ishikura’s cross underneath Luke Borean. On 23 minutes, Jordan Farina tapped home another low cross to give Moreton Bay a 2-0 lead. Things went from bad to worse for Thunder, as Mustafa Jafari was sent off for a bodycheck on Matthew Capelo. With a 2 goal lead and an extra man just before stoppage time, Moreton Bay would have thought they had the game won. On 89 minutes though, Alex Janovsky accidently headed Hong Soon Im’s free kick into his own net. On 94 minutes, an excellent run by Kimba Kibombo through the Moreton Bay defence was finished with a lob over the keeper. Somehow, Thunder managed to get out of this one with a point.
FNQ Heat 1-1 Brisbane City, Cairns, 9 July
Two sides in the top four went into this game needing a win to really ramp up their finals credentials. It was a rather quiet first half, as Joshua Pin’s shot off the crossbar for the Heat being the main highlight of the half. On 50 minutes, Samuel Sibatuara converted from the penalty spot, his third goal in three games. However, this would later be cancelled out by a 40 yard free kick by Jamie Carroll, which managed to find its way past Timothy Allen. It’s not a result that will really please either side, as this was a chance for them to cement their finals credentials.
Western Pride 2-2 Brisbane Roar Youth, Ipswich, 9 July
The Roar Youth went into this game having been soundly defeated by the Fire the week before, and looked to return to winning ways. They got off to the perfect start to do that. Aaron Reardon would find the ball at his feet after some pinball activity around the penalty area before finding the bottom corner to put the Roar in the lead. On 66 minutes, Matthew Schmidt’s throw in to Thomas Miller resulted in an excellent shot from the edge of the area that found the back of the net, doubling the Roar’s lead. It wasn’t over for the Pride, as a Joseph Duckworth low ball across the box was tapped home by Mitchell Bird. With ten minutes remaining, Bonventure Thomas-Remijo scored from six yards to give Western Pride a point.
Gold Coast City 4-0 Northern Fury, Gold Coast, 10 July
It’s not been a good season for the Fury, and Gold Coast City made it worse on the Gold Coast. Ben Litfin put City in the lead on 17 minutes after he tapped home Benjamin Lyvidikos’ cross. On 62 minutes, Roman Hoffman slots home from the penalty spot after a foul on Lyvidikos. A Rhys Saunders cutback to Ben Litfin would see City go three up, before Jordan Lampard’s 80th minute goal wrapped up the scoring for Gold Coast City. The result solidifies Gold Coast City’s spot in the top four for another week.
Coming up this weekend is just the one game – the previously postponed Redlands United vs Brisbane Strikers fixture. With the Strikers coming in off a loss, they’ll be looking to get the three points ahead of their clash with traditional rivals Sunshine Coast Fire. Meanwhile, Redlands desperately need three points to keep touch of the top four.