Historic streaks both winning and losing came to an end in yet another entertaining round of NPL football. Thousands gathered to support their team but if you couldn’t make it, get up to date with the weekend action in our round two review.
By Tom Beverley
Lions FC | 2 – 0 | Brisbane Strikers
Lions strong start to 2018 continues
Lions FC are quickly proving the team to beat in NPL Queensland after a wet-weathered encounter at Lions Stadium saw them dispose of the Brisbane Strikers. Goalkeeper Luke Borean claimed the first of only two clean sheets from fourteen fixtures across the league after a dominant first half of football sealed the three points for Lions.
Chris Maher put one away in the 23rd minute, and just nine minutes later Jesse Daley converted from the spot after a handball in the box. An entertaining match ensued with chances at both ends but ultimately Lions were 2-0 victors.
Another tough challenge for Brisbane Strikers awaits in round three when they host in-form Moreton Bay United.
Moreton Bay United | 3 – 1 | Brisbane City
Jets sink City to retain top spot
Moreton Bay have impressed again with yet another dominant attacking display, this time against Brisbane City. The Jets had two goals within the first five minutes through Matt Byrne and Brenton Fox. Chom Arop, who assisted the second goal, was brought down in the box about half an hour later. Captain Alex Janovski stepped up and converted the penalty, giving Moreton Bay a 3-0 lead heading into the break.
The second half was still all The Jets, who were unable to extend their lead. A consolation prize came for City against the run of play, again through super-sub Alex Feichtner. The Jets have scored three times in the opening half in both of their NPL matches this season.
On the flip side, City have now conceded five times, and are yet to score in the first half.
Cairns FC | 1 – 2 | Sunshine Coast FC
The Fire burns bright in Cairns
Sunshine Coast’s victory over Cairns FC ended the longest winless streak in NPL Queensland’s short history. It was the Fire’s first in 28 matches. Sunshine Coast opened the scoring 18 minutes in after Alexander Smith got on the end of a Christopher Swain corner. Cairns FC responded within minutes through Josh Taylor. Halftime had both teams equal 1-1.
It was 10 minutes into the second half when Swain and Smith combined to put the Fire in front. Smith had his brace after slotting home to a virtually open goal. Sunshine Coast held out to defeat the hosts 2-1 in front of another big crowd turnout for Cairns.
Western Pride | 2 – 3 | Olympic FC
Briggs Road Sporting Complex
Determined Olympic down Champions away
A brace from star striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls wasnt enough to keep Western Pride’s streak alive in this five goal thriller. It started early with a Kristen Waters header inside the first 3 minutes. Wenzel-Halls converted from the spot nine minutes later to level things up, before Jez Lofthouse put one in the back of the net to give Olympic a 2-1 advantage heading into half time.
The home side were the first to strike in the second half through another penalty converted by Wenzel-Halls. Olympic were back in front within minutes after a Shelford Dais cross found Adam Edgar.
The score remained 3-2, and just like that, Western Pride’s 12 game winning streak was over.
North QLD United | 2 – 1 | Magpies Crusaders
NQU come from behind home victory
It’s a newly formed North Queensland derby that saw Townsville based North Queensland United (NQU) host Mackay based Magpies Crusaders. It was an entertaining end to end clash which saw NQU claim their second home win.
Though it wasn’t the ideal start again for NQU as they found themselves trailing early after Kyle Markham put the Magpies Crusaders in front in the 20th minute. NQU leveled the scores on the cusp of half-time through Hamish Cassady who got on the end of a corner delivery.
NQU started strong in the second half snd were rewarded after just six minutes when Robin Edwards got his head on an inch perfect cross to put the home side I’m front, where they remained to claim another three points. NQU are home again in round three, can they hold off the reigning champions, Western Pride, to make it three from three?
Redlands United | 4 – 4 | SWQ Thunder
Kuboyama hat-trick salvages point for Redlands
It was an unpredictable 8-goal thriller that seemingly felt all Redlands United after 22 minutes when Kuboyama and Prasad had the hosts 2-0 up. Then, momentum shifted when the Thunder put three in the back of net unanswered to see out the half. For the second straight week United have conceded three times in the opening half.
Thunder struck early in the second half to double the lead, but a resilient home side was determined to get on the board of 2018.
A second half brace to Shuto Kuboyama to complete his hat-trick ensured Redlands United grabbed a point against a determined but disappointed SWQ outfit.
Gold Coast United | 0 – 2 | Brisbane Roar Youth
The M1 derby is back
The M1 derby between Gold Coast United and Brisbane Roar has been renewed in the NPL. The last encounter between the two was round 27 of the 2011/2012 Hyundai A-League season which saw Brisbane Roar take the three points in what was Gold Coast United’s final match prior to being disbanded. The Roar have again taken the bragging rights, travelling back up the M1 with all three points.
It took just 9 minutes for the Roar to get in front after a cheeky Mirza Muratovic chip. The score remained 1-0 going into half time. It was a disastrous second half for Gold Coast United that started with Brandon Reeves copping a straight red in the 48th minute. The Roar doubled the lead about half an hour later, when soon after Gold Coast were down to nine men after Nicholas Panetta received his second yellow. The Roar were unable to capitalise further, remaining comfortable victors.