Brisbane Roar has scored an impressive 2-0 win against the Hyundai A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.
Two first half goals were enough to secure the valuable three points, with some committed defending in the second half ensuring the result.
Brisbane had the perfect start to the game when Erik Paartalu slotted home after just four minutes.
Thomas Broich played youngster Nick Fitzgerald down the left, with the former Mariner cutting the ball back across the box from the byline for Paartalu to run onto and stroke home with confidence with his left foot from level with the penalty spot.
Broich nearly doubled Brisbane’s lead on 18 minutes when he thundered a shot onto the post from 25m before the Mariners threatened down the other end with a Daniel McBreen header going justover Michael Theoklitos’ goal.
Besart Berisha thought he’d be the one to add to the Brisbane lead when he put the ball in the net from another Fitzgerald cutback, but the referees assistant ruled out the effort, adjudging the young midfielder had been offside before he received the ball.
Theoklitos was forced into a good save from Troy Hearfield just on the half hour mark, before the same Mariners player headed over just two minutes later after the referee did not award the away side a free kick just outside the box a moment later up the other end.
Brisbane did go ahead and it was returning striker Berisha who added the second to the scoreboard for the away side.
Running on to a Massimo Murdocca flick on, Berisha cut back across the top of the box before beating Justin Pasfield in the Central Coast goal from just outside the area.
The second half opened with the home side looking to get themselves back into the game and while they had the lion’s share of possession, they found it difficult to open up a resolute Brisbane defence.
Adriano Pellegrino probably had the Mariners’ best opportunity in the opening stages when he flashed the ball wide of the goal from an Adam Kwasnik pass on 65 minutes.
Substitute Tomas Rojic then came close from a Pedj Bojic cross, but clipped his shot wide of the goal as Brisbanes determination to keep a clean sheet with consistent pressure on the Roar’s defensive line.
Brisbane’s patience very nearly paid off with a sweeping counter attack which owed much to a marauding right side run by Ivan Franjic, the fullback’s cross finding Fitzgerald in the box, but somehow Pasfield just managed to get enough on the youngster’s shot to see it spin away from goal.
As the match moved into extra time Berisha had the opportunity to kill the game off, but blazed over the bar from just 8 yards out and the goal at his mercy.
Berisha’s chance proved to be the last clear opportunity of the match as Brisbane recorded its first clean sheet in 11 attempts.
“I was really pleased with the way we played tonight, we stuck to our guns and I’m really pleased that we won the game by playing our football,” Postecoglou said.
“We really worked hard to force them back and we had a bit more focus and purpose in the front third of the pitch.
“We scored two good goals and I think we could have had more on the night.”
Central Coast Mariners 0
Brisbane Roar 2 (Paartalu 5', Berisha 38')
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Central Coast Mariners squad: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Josh Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 8. Rostyn Griffiths (16. Trent Sainsbury 83’), 9. Bernie Ibini, 10. Adriano Pellegrino (17. Tomas Rogic 66’), 12. Troy Hearfield (23. Adam Kwasnik 46’), 14. Michael McGlinchey, 18. Alex Wilkinson (C),
Substitutes not used: 31. Brody Crane (GK)
Yellow cards:v Pellegrino (13’), McBreen (34’), Zwaanswijk (44’), Bojic (75’), Sainsbury (88’)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto (C), 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique (21. James Meyer 62’), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald (26. George Lambadaridis 82’).
Substitutes not used: 12. Matt Mundy, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK).
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil