By Tyler Sunderland and Rowan Schindler
“Football is back”
That was the mood throughout Queensland last weekend, with NPL, WNPL and FQPL action being played right across the state.
While not every game was able to brace the wet weather, the majority of teams kitted up, and played their season opener.
If Round 1 is anything to go by, this season is going to be exciting.
Here’s a preview for the Round 2 fixtures:
A big home crowd wasn’t enough to see Brisbane City over the line, going down 2-1 to Lions FC. The Richlands based side will have a chance to show that they can do it both home and away this Saturday, as they face Brisbane Strikers FC at Lions Stadium. The Strikers are coming off a narrow loss against Western Pride, and will be determined to join the winners circle.
Brisbane City travel to Moreton Bay to take on the Jets and chase their first competition points. Moreton Bay, however, will look to begin a run of wins after a 6-2 victory at Redlands last weekend. Redlands United FC, on the other hand, host SWQ Thunder and plan to grab some points at home after losing to them on the opening day.
Cairns FC welcome Sunshine Coast FC, with both sides looking to fight for their first wins of the year. A strong Western Pride FC host a Brisbane Olympic FC team with a healthy mix of youth and experience. Both sides have three points after the opening round and will likely prove a lively encounter.
A derby battle will unfold as North Queensland United FC host Magpies Crusaders FC. The journey along the A1 will show which team stakes their claim over the coast.
Gold Coast United FC will welcome Brisbane Roar FC Youth to Station Reserve on Saturday night. After initially being washed out, the Roar Youth will look continue their winning ways after being victorious over SWQ Thunder on Tuesday night. Stealing points off Gold Coast will be no mean feat, as they produced a strong winning performance in Cairns last weekend.
A Mackenzie Akins hat trick kept Gold Coast United in their contest, but 4 early first half goals by Mitchelton was enough to provide them with a happy welcome to the competition. As one of the new clubs to the competition, Mitchelton FC will look to impress again when they play the Sunshine Coast Wanderers, who were washed out over the weekend.
Gold Coast United showed they have strong fight in them after their comeback from 4-nil down against Mitchelton but will have to adjust their early game plan against an Eastern Suburbs side who beat Logan Lightning in the opening round.
The Lightning will hope to strike against Lions FC, who have proven their claim as a top side after their big win over Capalaba on Saturday.
Capalaba Bulldogs v Moreton Bay United will be an opportunity for either side to gain their first points of the season. The Bulldogs have home advantage in this fixture, and hope that this will help them take out their first win.
Western Pride FC will host Mudgeeraba Soccer Club, with the aim of doubling their win tally. Mudgeeraba, who received a tough ‘welcome to the competition’ from the Gap FC, are out for redemption as they travel out west.
The Gap scored a big win over Mudgeeraba SC last week and plan for the same against Brisbane Roar Youth team. In our live stream game, Souths United will put their hand up to be considered early season favourites as they welcome SWQ Thunder to Wakerley Park’s synthetic field.
Souths United v Southside Eagles, or the ‘Showdown of the Souths’ sets to be a hard-fought contest. Souths United proved too strong for the Rochedale Rovers in the season opener, netting 5 goals that included a hat trick from Kado Aoci. Southside Eagles will have to contend with a short turnaround between games, after going down 3-1 to Ipswich Knights on Tuesday.
Wolves go head-to-head with Logan Lightning, the Holland Park Hawks square up against an Ipswich Knights side who are riding high after a good win over Southside.
The Eastern Suburbs Tigers face Peninsula Power in their first home game of the season. Regardless of scoring more goals than the winning Peninsula Power in their respective fixture, the Tigers only could manage a draw again Logan Lightning last weekend.
A strong Rochedale Rovers went down last week to Souths United and will look to get up to speed against a Capalaba Bulldogs who were too strong for the Wolves.
In our live stream game, Mitchelton will face debutants and wildcards, The Sunshine Coast Wanderers, who will look to get off to a strong start and make a good impression.
We will see who can continue the first round wins into the second round, and if the early season will provide any upsets or see the rise of contenders.
Head to www.footballqueensland.com.au to find live streams for selected matches across the three competitions.