Western Pride stumbled against Brisbane City to hand Olympic top spot at the halfway point of the season, while wins for Strikers, Lions and Moreton Bay ensured that the race for the top four remained tight.
Lions FC 3 (Macuace 37’, Solorzano Madrigal 61’, Glockner 75’)
Redlands United 0
Comfortable win for Lions at home
Fourth-placed Lions eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Redlands United at Richlands on Saturday night.
Having started on the bench in his last three games, Colombian signing Jheison Macuace rewarded coach Warren Moon for his first start with the opening goal of the game just before the break.
Jean Carlos Solorzano added a second on the hour mark for the hosts, ending a four game barren run for the former Hyundai A-League star before Carter Glockner added a third off the bench – his second goal in as many games to bring his season tally to five.
Moreton Bay United 3 (own goal 19′, Arop 25’, Fox 76’)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Bafford 56’, Reardon 90’)
Jets secure narrow victory over Roar Youth
Moreton Bay held off a fast-finishing Brisbane Roar Youth side at Wolter Park on Saturday evening to prevail by three goals to two.
The hosts went into the break two goals to the good thanks to Nick D’Agostino’s own goal and Chom Arup’s eighth goal of the campaign but were pegged pack after the interval by Bryce Bafford’s driven effort.
The hosts restored their two goal cushion shortly after through Brenton Fox and held on to win despite Aaron Reardon’s late consolation.
Cairns FC 2 (Taylor 10’, Carroll 25’)
SWQ Thunder 1 (Hatfield 73’)
Cairns top Thunder in FNQ
Cairns FC edged themselves clear of the relegation battle after recording their fourth win of the season to subdue the SWQ Thunder in the tropical north.
The hosts raced into an early lead thanks to Josh Taylor’s ninth goal of the season inside ten minutes before doubling their advantage through captain Jamie Carroll.
The Thunder struck back in the second half through Chris Hatfield’s second goal in as many games but the visitors could not find the equaliser and succumbed to their seventh straight game without a win.
Western Pride 1 (Pengelly 70’)
Brisbane City 3 (own goal 32’, Sibatuara 35’, Bolton 69’)
Briggs Road Sporting Complex
Pride slip to second as City move to sixth
Brisbane City proved their FFA Cup victory last Tuesday night was no fluke by handing the reigning Champions their heaviest league defeat since 2 July 2016 – which coincidently also came against Brisbane City – at Briggs Road on Saturday night.
City opened the scoring thanks to an own goal just after the half hour mark, before Sam Sibatuara continued his fine recent form to add a second moments later.
Kye Bolton netted his third goal of the season midway through the second half to extend the lead but the hosts struck back almost immediately through Andrew Pengelly, the goal proving merely a consolation in the end.
North Queensland United 1 (Nicopoulos 45’)
Olympic FC 2 (own goal 8′, 21’)
Olympic maintain lead
Olympic jumped back into pole position in the National Premier Leagues Queensland with a gritty 2-1 victory over North Queensland United in Townsville on Saturday.
In an eventful first half at Brolga Park, Kazuya Ito opened the scoring for Olympic in just the eighth minute with a fierce low drive into the far corner of the goal, who then doubled their lead thanks to an unfortunate own goal in the 21st minute from Jae Eurell.
North Queensland hit back on the stroke of half time after Theo Nicopoulos connected with a Eurell corner but the hosts could not find the equaliser in a goalless second half.
Magpies Crusaders 1 (Lyall 74’)
Brisbane Strikers 5 (Clulow 13’, 85’, Maltby 33’, Henslee 82’, McLean 87’)
Late Strikers show secures big win
A late flurry of goals ensured that the Strikers took all three points back to Brisbane with them after they had been given a real fright by a brave Magpies Crusaders side in front of the Football Queensland livestream cameras on Saturday evening.
Trent Clulow and Zac Maltby gave Strikers a 2-0 lead at the break but the Magpies Crusaders were rewarded for a battling performance with a well-taken Michael Lyall goal midway through the second half.
Roared on by a crowd of 1,090, the hosts sensed a possible upset but were rudely brought crashing back down to earth by the reigning Premiers who added three quick-fire goals in a frantic five minute spell to secure the points.
Gold Coast United 3 (Smith 21’, 70’ (pen), Panetta 64’)
Sunshine Coast 1 (Kosimizu 4’)
United come from behind
Gold Coast United recovered from going a goal behind early to see off Sunshine Coast at Robina Station Reserve on Saturday night.
Shoichi Koshimizu gave the visitors the lead in just the fourth minute before Conor Smith fired home the equaliser mid-way through the first half.
Nick Panetta scored his fourth goal of the season to hand the hosts a second half lead that they would soon double when Dean Wernerson was tripped in the penalty area.
Conor Smith converted from the spot to secure the points with his fifth goal of the season.
Words: Simon Smale
Image: Ian Judd/Lions FC