The Mariners host the game of the round, I mean first game of the round. I guess when you are trying to avoid the wooden spoon you might lay it all on the line more than first v second, although I think my husband asking “any score yet?” after a minute twenty six may be expecting a little too much.
At the second minute Matt Millar crosses to the back post but Simon can’t steer the header on target. Soon after the Mariners turn it over and Henrique tries to open the scoring for Brisbane, but his shot goes straight to Kennedy. Early shots are a good sign of goals perhaps?
Twelve minutes in O’Neill finds a loose ball and strikes it well but sends it over the top of the crossbar. Numerous free kicks to both teams at this point with neither team able to find a rhythm, but then that shouldn’t surprise us given how terrible their dancing has been all year.
Seventeen minutes go by and Young saves Brisbane with a great one hander, stopping Millar’s header from the edge of the six yard box, Brisbane defenders caught off guard.
Simon the first one in the book with a yellow, not an unusual situation, he has a few words to say to the ref about this booking. Meanwhile Ingham has gone down injured and signals the end of his game. Powell is subbed on in his place.
25 mins in and Mariners are awarded the first corner of the game, Hoole takes the corner, however after a scramble Brisbane come away with the ball and Henrique somehow out runs everyone down the wing, but fails to do anything of substance with it. This game is alive, not a goal scoring fest but there is certainly some passion in the air, but no one can find a way to finish.
After 30 minutes of comparable dominance by the home team the Brisbane outfit open the scoring! The wooden spoon game just might have the goal of the season! Bauetheac finishes into the top corner with a bicycle kick after controlling a pass to his chest showing a class that some might have expected more of from the Frenchman during the season.
A classy finish seems to be enough to stimulate the other 21 players on the pitch into the on coming frenzy. Brisbane slotting another top shelf goal just four minutes later via Lopez with a rocketing a volley into the back of the net after the Mariners don’t clear the free kick. Only two minutes later the ball is down the Mariners end for The Pain Train to score with his head, suddenly this game is wide open!
Before I can blink the Mariners have possession again and Pain then latches onto a loose ball from Hoole’s free kick, but Young manages to grab onto the missile launched at him. The defenders in this game are really lacking, but the keepers are keeping their respective teams in the match. There will be no defenders featuring in the highlight reel of this game except with downturned heads having conceded yet another goal.
Just as I think about getting up for a half time wee Mikkelsen heads a third goal in for Brisbane. I certainly didn’t predict a 1-3 scoreline at half time. Ok, so a 2-3 scoreline at half time… O’Neill with an instant reply from just outside the box. I cannot keep up with this game now.
More good attacking, or is it poor defending, leads to more shots in the second half. At the 54thminute mark Lopez gives Brisbane back their two goal lead and his second goal for the night, as he finishes off a pass from Henrique. We are then straight back down to the other end, where Simon cannot convert and appeals for a penalty for a shove in the box which VAR denies. We see back to back corners for the Mariners neither can be converted.
And for something other than a goal, O’Neill receives his second yellow and is sent off, a few choice words suggest he doesn’t agree with this decision. The boom microphone has been working overtime tonight, adding some interesting flair and the sports broadcaster investigating options for automated bleeping of curse words.
At seventy four minutes Kennedy is caught with his legs spread wide as Wenzel-Hall makes it 2-4 slipping one into the net.
A yellow card to Bautheac, more shots and ferocity rarely seen this season from these outfits has us wondering what more is to come yet in what is turning out to be an unlikely classic match.
Ok, we’re still going, Murray making it 3-5 from a header, as a second attempt at a corner that Young had initially punched away. I’m seriously glad I’m only writing this article, not trying to live tweet…
Even in stoppage time we have more drama! Simon picks up his second yellow card, sending him to a somewhat early shower leaving the Mariners to finish with nine players on the pitch though not for long, the next whistle signalling the end of the match. That provides us with a 3-5 scoreline for the first time ever in the A-league history, so in the years to come we cannot say that game didn’t bring something to the table.
By Michelle Reid