April 03, 2015 11:45:22 UK
It may prove too late for them to reach the A-League finals, but Brisbane Roar produced their best performance of the season in beating Central Coast 6-1 at Suncorp Stadium.
Frans Thijssen’s side snapped a four-match losing run with Steven Lustica grabbing a hat-trick in the battle of the last two league champions.
Thijssen brought last season’s Johnny Warren Medal winner Thomas Broich back after four games out with an ankle injury and he set up two goals before being withdrawn at half-time.
The win was a morale-booster for the Roar ahead of their trip to South Korea for their crucial Asian Champions League game against Suwon Bluewings next week. Brisbane are 51.00 to win the Asian Champions League.
Socceroos midfielder Matt McKay, who had only arrived back in Australia on the morning of the game, was kept on the bench as Thijssen opted to give Lustica a chance that he took with both hands.
He scored twice with powerful shots from outside the area in the first half, his first effort leaving keeper Liam Reddy rooted to the spot and his second goal fizzing into the bottom corner four minutes before the break.
Andrija Kaludjerovic gave the hosts a 22nd-minute lead, holding off defender Zac Anderson as he ran onto Broich’s ball over the top and guided his shot past Reddy.
Whatever interim coach Tony Walmsley said to the Mariners at half-time, it didn’t work as they conceded two more goals in the first five minutes after the restart.
First Jean Carlos Solorzano’s run set up teenager Devante Clut for his first goal of the season, then Brandon Borrello converted a chance created by Lustica.
The Mariners pulled a goal back when Roar defender Daniel Bowles’ attempted clearance from Travis Major’s cross deflected past keeper Jamie Young.
But Lustica deservedly had the last word as he tucked away Kaludjerovic’s cross with 11 minutes left to earn the match ball.
The Roar are 3.20 to win their next match against Adelaide United, who are 2.00 with the draw 3.50.
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