Roar extinguish Fire in big trial
BRISBANE Roar sharpened its claws ahead of the imminent Hyundai National A-League soccer season by snuffing out the Sunshine Coast Fire in Gympie Wednesday night.
The Roar played the Fire in a friendly match hosted by Football Gympie at the One Mile Ovals and were victorious 3-1.
The win was yet another boost for the Roar against the Queensland Premier League runaway leaders, with the side yet to drop a pre-season match.
Despite wet conditions following a torrential downpour halfway through the game, the Roar, fielding a young side, oozed class in executing the win.
Brisbane claimed the lead late in the first 40 minutes when Kosta Barbarouses slotted his first of two goals for the match.
The New Zealand international was free on the edge of the box with the ball at his feet after an initial attack on goal by Brazilian Henrqiue De Andrade Silva was repelled by Fire keeper Antony Hall.
Not keen to waste a second chance, Barbarouses slammed the ball into the back net to give Brisbane momentum.
The Roar added another goal to their score just prior to half time when De Andrade Silva ensured his name appeared on the scoresheet.
The Brazilian received his successful shot at goal following a cross from fellow frontline striker Barbarouses.
Barbarouses collected the Roar’s third goal (and his second) halfway during the second half.
Racing down the field on the left, the crafty player cut back inside, avoiding the Fire’s defence, before unleashing a scorching shot on goal with his right foot.
Although stretching the Roar, the Fire was unable to find the back of the net until Corey Towle, with 20 minutes remaining, pounced on a defensive header that failed to clear the area and fired a shot into the top corner of Brisbane’s box.
Dropping the goal meant the Roar’s previous record of five consecutive clean sheets came to an abrupt end.
It was the third time the Roar had played the Fire in a trial match at Gympie as part of its pre-season Roadshow Tour and Football Gympie secretary Pam Tindall was thrilled with the match.
“It was a high quality match and a real test of skill for the players in the wet conditions,” she said.
Tindall said a good crowd showed up for the match and braved the wet weather.
“The crowd moved in under cover but stayed, which was good,” she said.
The evening got underway earlier at 5pm with an autograph session, allowing fans a chance to run shoulders with their idols on the field.
Meanwhile, Gympie Times competition winner Joshua Henwood and mate Daryl Manton enjoyed sitting on the Roar’s bench during the match and having dinner with the outfit afterwards.
“It was a great experience to get so close to the players like that and see the standard of football,” he said.
Football Gympie presented the Roar with a Roar vs Fire Shield marking the win and Brisbane lead the contest 2-1.