Strikers first through to Boot semis

Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

Brisbane Strikers have completed a perfect record in the group stages of the BLK Silver Boot with a 3-1 defeat of Mitchelton on Tuesday night.

A goal to Rhys Meredith was quickly cancelled out by Bryce Cuschieri but second-half goals to Shaun Carlos and Alistair Davis sealed the win for the NPL side.

Jake Mitchell had the first opportunity of the match for Mitchelton as he rounded Strikers keeper Seb Usai but ran out of room to control the ball as it dribbled across the goal line.

Jake McLean provided his side’s first chance but his effort was saved by Kevin Downes.

That started a bit of a trend for the Strikers with Downes called into action on several occasions in a five-minute period.

Inexplicably, Adam Wilson while in the area lifted his arm to stop a Meredith cross. Jesse Wiemers stepped up to take the spot kick that he drove straight down the middle but Downes diving to his left managed to get a trailing leg to deflect away from goal.

Just after, the Strikers made a defensive error and turned the ball over twenty-five metres out from their own goal. Chris Griebsch attempted to test Usai but was unable to get the better of the keeper.

Chances kept coming for the BPL side as Mitchell continued to be industrious for his side but he was unable to foil Usai.

Strikers opened the scoring in the thirty-seventh minute when Meredith was able to put the ball away to the near post after desperation in the box kept the ball alive for the Strikers.

As it looked like they would take an advantage into half time, Cuschieri broke the defensive line with Usai unable to cut the angle down sufficiently enough.

bs v mit final

Strikers took the lead again when Meredith was quick down the left side and delivered a pinpoint cross for Carlos who had time to compose himself and slot past Downes.

Only just having arrived on the park, Davis gave his side a two-goal lead as the Strikers remained on course to claim top of Group A.

A flurry of corners to Mitchelton with ten minutes remaining provided some hope but they were unable to penetrate the Strikers defence.

The win giving Strikers three wins in their three Group A pool matches and ensuring passage to Thursday week’s semi-finals.

Brisbane Strikers 3 (Rhys Meredith 37’, Shaun Carlos 58’, Alistair Davis 69’) v Mitchelton 1 (Bryce Cuschieri 42’)

Brisbane Strikers: Seb Usai, Sam Knight, Jesse Wiemers, Greig Henslee, Jake Marshall, Michael Angus, Shaun Carlos, Jake McLean, Trent Clulow, Rhys Meredith, Shelford Dais, Chris Maher, Fraser Hills, Alistair Davis, Tommy Ross, Michael Weier.

Mitchelton: Kevin Downes, Michael McGowan, Gabriel Sarasol, Nick Benardi, Harris Avdic, Steven Chester, Lewis Teevan, Jake Mitchell, Chris Griebsch, Bryce Cuschieri, Yoshi Kensho, Christian Trovato, Samir Rezaee, Adam Wilson, Lachlan Munn, Jeremy Griffin.

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