Report – Eastern Suburbs v Brisbane Strikers

May 15, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers are one win away from a return to the national stage of the FFA Cup following a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Eastern Suburbs at Heath Park.

After conceding early in the first-half, Brisbane Strikers responded with four unanswered goals to become the first Queensland club to qualify for Round 7 of the national knock-out competition this season.

Attacker Andy Pengelly’s double led the returns for Brisbane Strikers – his goal in each half book-ending defender Matt Richardson’s maiden goal for the club.

Substitute Josh Matcham then iced the result late to seal his side’s fourth straight win in all competitions.

The hosts took an early lead through Preston Hugo prior to the spirited Brisbane Strikers fightback – but rarely threatened in the second half as the visitors wrested control of the contest.

Brisbane Strikers will now face the winner of the tie between National Premier Leagues high-flyers Peninsula Power and Gold Coast Knights in Round 7.

GOALS

12’ – EASTERN SUBURBS – Preston Hugo cuts inside the box from the left and fires into the top corner to open accounts.

22’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Seb Scaroni breezes past his marker on the right byline before squaring for Andy Pengelly to drill home a first time finish at close range.

73’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – A Jake McLean free-kick is forcefully headed across the line by defender Matt Richardson for his first ever Brisbane Strikers goal.

85’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – After combining with Fraser Hills, Andy Pengelly slots a composed past Eastern Suburbs goalkeeper Sam Long to double the lead.

90+1’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Zach Maltby wins the race for the ball down the right flank before crossing in low for fellow substitute Josh Matcham to tuck away the finish on the burst to seal the win.

MOMENTS

7’ – EASTERN SUBURBS – A corner to the back stick sees a shot from Alex Barnett denied by the post.

14’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Fraser Hills is played in behind the Eastern Suburbs line but his shot goes just wide under pressure form onrushing goalkeeper Sam Long.

26’ – EASTERN SUBURBS – Preston Hugo finds space in the box but sends his shot across the face of goal.

38’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Jake McLean plays through Seb Scaroni on goal but his shot is denied by a parried save from Sam Long.

56’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Andy Pengelly finds space for a shot at the top of the box but his effort is just high of the top corner.

64’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – After sustained pressure, Hiroki Omori sees his angled shot parried away by Sam Long before Andy Pengelly’s follow-up strike deflects wide off an Eastern Suburbs defender.

66’ – BRISBANE STRIKERS – Fraser Hills picks out Andy Pengelly with a smart ball but the attacker’s header is just wide of the target.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Michael McGowan – the burly Scottish defender was at his commanding best in the Brisbane Strikers backline as he guided the back four to effectively stifle the Eastern Suburbs attack in the second half.

COACH’S REACTION

“The boys have turned up the heat in the last couple of weeks. Tonight was tough because we were carrying some fatigue from the weekend’s game but you could see how much the boys wanted it. The FFA Cup is important to them as a team and to us as a club. The football we played in the second half tonight was brilliant but we know we still have an extremely tough game in the next stage.” – Owen Baker, Brisbane Strikers coach

CAPTAIN’S REACTION

“There is a lot of belief in the change rooms. It is good that our younger players are not looking out of place at all because the intensity of the FFA Cup can come as a bit of a rude awakening. We have a lot of momentum and we weren’t fazed when we conceded the first goal – we kept working hard knowing the result would come if we did.” – Jake McLean, Brisbane Strikers captain

DID YOU KNOW?

The result marks the furthest Brisbane Strikers have advanced in the FFA Cup since 2016, which was the last season the team qualified for the national Round of 32.

NEXT GAME

Brisbane Strikers now turn their attention to the National Premier Leagues when they travel to Toowoomba on Saturday against relegation battlers SWQ Thunder.

 

Image supplied by Albert Perez

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