Lions Crowned Premiers With Convincing Win Over Strong Roar Side
Lions FC 3 (Madle 22′, 53′; Macuace 50′)
Brisbane Roar Yth 0
A Marek Madle brace and a second half strike from Jheison Macuace handed Lions FC the NPL Queensland Premiership as they dominated a Brisbane Roar Youth side featuring a number of Roar A-League players.
Lions needed just one point against the Brisbane Roar Youth on Saturday evening as all the talk before the game was the inclusion of a number of Roar’s Hyundai A-League players in the line-up but it mattered little as the hosts dominated proceedings from start to finish.
A strong penalty shout just before the quarter hour mark went unheeded by Referee James Sherry when Matija Simic seemed to be bundled over in the box following a corner.
Moments later Roar keeper Brendan White had to react from a header that went just over from yet another corner.
The breakthrough came midway through the half. Jheison Macuace doing well to dispossess his opponent before Mitch Hore took it over to slide a superb ball through for Marek Madle to chase onto with just White to beat and he duly delivered, slipping ball across the Roar custodian into the far corner of the goal for his 14th goal of the season and perhaps his most important since arriving at Richlands.
The second term saw the hosts strike early twice in three minutes.
Madle was instrumental in the next goal as he showed his strength to win the ball off the Roar defence in a dangerous area, striding into the box and cutting the ball back for Macuace who fired high into the back of the net.
The strike duo almost struck again two minutes later when Mitch Hore’s powerful run saw him cross the ball to the edge of the six yard box with both Madle and Macuace ready to pounce, but Roar’s Brodie Boyce was able to poke the ball away for corner.
However, Roar were caught napping from the resulting corner with Madle flicking his near post header past White to all but seal the title.
Roar offered little in response with Dylan Wenzal-Halls a spectator and with Lions a constant threat going forward.
Further opportunities fell the way of Macuace and Madle who were thwarted by good saves from White who also did well to gather in a long range Danny Kim effort.
Substitute Chris Maher almost looked to wrap things up with an effort that beat White but the ball drifting agonisingly wide across the face.
With time running and a large Lions crowd eagerly awaiting the final whistle, Madle nearly put the icing on the cake with a hat trick, only to be denied at the near post by a superb stop from White.
Moments later, Lions Stadium erupted as Referee Sherry signalled an end to proceedings and at the first attempt since entering the NPL competition, Lions adding the Premiership trophy to the cabinet.
“Tonight we demonstrated what a great group of players we had by overcoming Brisbane Roar Youth who fielded eight players from there first team squad. It didn’t phase our players who rose to the challenge and even bettered there direct opponents.”
“We have shown great character all year and winning the title is a great reward for this playing group. Hopefully it doesn’t end here though as we have a lot to play for this season.”
Borean (gk), Thompson, Jarrard, Simic, Hore, Solorzano, Brindell-South, Macuace, Carlos, Kim, Madle.
Subs: Cuminao (rgk), Maher, Glockner, Cosgrove, Shepherd.
Brisbane Roar Youth:
White (gk), Boyce, Martin, Reardon, Ingham, Bennett, Leck, Caletti, Wenzel-Halls, D’Agostostino, Brady.
Subs: Freke (rik), Bafford, Powell, Brooks, Aloisi.