Lions FC 3 (Carlos 52′, 90′; Alexander 56′)
Gold Coast Utd 2 (Panetta 38′; Reeves 88′)
A dramatic last minute Shaun Carlos winner capped off his birthday and handed Lions a vital win when it looked as though Gold Coast had done enough to come away from Lions Stadium with a share of the points.
A number of chances came the way of the hosts in the opening stages with the best of them falling to Chris Maher midway through the half, but he fired wildly over from close range as he met Jacob Alexander’s well placed cross.
It proved costly as shortly before the break United took the lead against the run of play when Nick Panetta’s strike for outside the box looked destined for the gloves of keeper Luke Borean, but inexplicably he misjudged the flight and allowed the ball to go harmlessly past him for the opener.
A minute later, Maher’s cross come shot nearly caught out United keeper Luca Zoric as he had to tip over at the far post with ball dropping in.
The hosts thought they’d equalised shortly after the restart when Alexander met a deep cross which he headed into United’s Curtis Stollery and bounced off the defender into the goal, but the assistants flag was up for what appeared to be Jean Carlos Solorzano being in an offside position and interfering with play as the ball was crossed in.
A short time later, Lions did level. Alexander working to the edge of the box where he cut the ball back for Solorzano who’s powerful drive was blocked well by Zoric but Carlos raced in at the far post and fired in the rebound from a narrow angle.
Alexander went close to putting Lions ahead soon after but Zoric saved well, however the United custodian could simply watch on moments later when Solorzano raced clear to the edge of the box, played the ball across for Mitch Hore who in turn laid the ball on for Alexander who swivelled and struck a bullet on the turn past Zoric for Lions to take the lead.
More opportunities fell Lions way and they should have gone further ahead when Hore fired over from a good position in the box following a good ball across from Carlos.
With less than ten minutes remaining, substitute Jheison Macauce, on for Solorzano, worked himself some space on the corner of the box and curled an effort beyond Zoric before seeing the ball agonisingly cannon off the far post.
It appeared that all the wasted chances, which to be fair had seen Zoric in superb form for United to deny the home side on a number of occasions, would prove costly when the visitors equalised late on.
A deep corner was played back into the box where Brandon Reeves was well placed to glance a header into the far corner.
But birthday boy Carlos was to have the final say as directly from the restart, sub Carter Glockner broke down the right, skipped past one challenge and delivered a dangerous ball to the edge of the six yard box which evaded Zoric and was met by Carlos who beat two defenders to the ball and smashing home the winner to the raptures of the Lions bench and team mates.
It was Lions fourth win on the bounce but a crucial one which showed determination and persistence as they look to keep up the pressure on the top two sides.
Another home game greets Lions Stadium next weekend with Cairns FC making the long trip south.
“I though we started the game a lot better than last week and we controlled that game. The irony was though that they scored from their first attack and I’ll go on record to say Luc Borean is one of the best keepers in Queensland outside the A-League and everyone is entitled to make mistakes and he made one then, that’s football.”
“We dealt with it and moved on battled back.”
On Shaun Carlos…
“Shaun’s been injured the last four weeks and the biggest frustration is we’ve been unable to play. He’s so important to our team so I was so glad he got the two goals and the win.”
Borean (gk), Thompson, Alexander, Jarrard, Reardon, Hore, Kim, Brindell-South, Maher, Glockner, Solorazno.
Subs: Cuminao (rgk), Simic, Glockner, Cosgrove, Macauce.
Gold Coast Utd:
Zoric (gk), Wagstaffe, Weier, Coutos, Tomic, Duncan, Gates, Reeves, Panetta, Stollery, Green.
Subs: Davis, Matthews, Riis, Eller, Williams (rgk)