Gold Coast prevail on penalties in the battle of two cities

Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

Goals in each half to both sides via Scot Coulson and Sam Sibatuara for Brisbane City with Lyndon Dykes and Rhys Saunders the contributors for Gold Coast City sent their BLK Silver Boot Group C match into penalties that Gold Coast City claimed 4-2 with Ben Litfin delivering the winning spot kick.

For the second night in a row, the match was played in energy-sapping humid conditions with both sides having early potential chances to land the first blow.

First it was Dykes for Gold Coast who was released but he was unable to get his volleyed effort on track.

Mat Biggins then attempted to take advantage after the coasters failed to clear their defensive lines but had his shot blocked with the rebound falling straight to Coulson with the defence eventually defusing the situation.

Litfin tried to capitalise on a rebound after Tim Allen denied Alex McCracken. Litfin played in Dykes with Allen getting a hand to his shot and in agonisingly slow motion, the ball dribbled out for a corner.

Chances kept coming with Coulson and Pavlou both denied by the Gold Coast defence in a sixty second period.

The game continued to see-saw. Liftin again influential playing in Nik Mirkovic who was met by Allen at the edge of the box sending his clearance straight to Dykes whose shot was easily collected by the keeper.

The deadlock was broke when Greg King delivered a trademark cross in from the left. Directed in for Coulson, he was on hand at the far post to slam home from close range.

Antonio Murray looked to double his side’s advantage with a curling free kick aimed at the top right corner with the ball not dipping in time.

Good lead up play resulted in Gold Coast’s opening goal. Justyn McKay was angling towards goal when he decided to play it wider for McCracken who delivered a cross into the near post where Dykes was on hand at the six yard line to tuck away past Allen.

Dykes, McCracken and Litfin continued to be influential for their side as Gold Coast searched for the go-ahead goal prior to the halftime break.

Right on the break, Mirkovic forced Allen to tip over the bar. From the resulting corner, Eoghan Murphy placed a fierce header on target. Biggins, still defending the post, was on hand as the last line of defence.

Allen was required to stand up for his side making three crucial saves in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. A double save from a goalmouth scramble, then a reactive effort moving from one post to the other followed by a magnificent save to deny Dykes.

bc v gcc final

Gold Coast continued to have the better of the attacking play during the second period and the pressure became too much for Brisbane City when Saunders finished tidily with around fifteen minutes remaining.

If there thoughts that Brisbane City would surrender, that would prove to be incorrect as Sibatuara powered through the defensive line three minutes later to score for the second consecutive week and restore the balance once more.

Viitakangas was sharp with five to go as he denied Murray and tipped a second effort out for a corner.

The scores level after ninety minutes, the match would be decided by penalties. Murray and Jayke Cuschieri had their penalties saved by Viitakangas with Allen blocking Morgan Saunders effort. Ben Litfin sending the winning penalty into the net for a Gold Coast City 4-2 penalties win. The extra point vital in determining who will progress to the semis.

Brisbane City 2 (Scot Coulson 27’, Sam Sibatuara 77’) v Gold Coast City 2 (Lyndon Dykes 32’, Rhys Saunders 74’). Gold Coast City won on penalties 4-2.

Brisbane City: Tim Allen (GK), Nick Buckley, Kai Smith, Paul Stevens, Motoki Kakehi, Mat Biggins, Luke Pavlou, Nathan Bird, Scot Coulson, Greg King, Antonio Murray, Jason Park, Sam Sibatuara, Jayke Cuschieri, Nathan Konstandopolous, Jean-Mike Jabo, James Harkin (GK).

Gold Coast City: Shane Viitkangas (GK), Matt Jones, Drew Jeskey, Eoghan Murphy, Roman Hofman, Troy Ruthven, Justyn McKay, Ben Litfin Lyndon Dykes, Nik Mirkovic, Alex McCracken, Riley Dillon, Rhys Saunders, Morgan Saunders, Tim Jackson, Jack Boxell.