Two first-time goalscorers guided an understrength Brisbane City to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over FNQ Heat at Borzi Park in Mareeba on Saturday night.
First ever senior goals to Keith Chan and Anthony Poljak saw the visitors overturn an early strike from Heat’s Crios O’Hare before star striker Antonio Murray wrapped up the points for City in time added on.
The results arrests a two-match losing streak for City and marks a fourth win in their past six games under interim coach Darron Heseldon.
The understrength City went into the match with a raft of debutants and were delivered a further blow prior to kick-off when experienced defender Luca Jannese was ruled out with illness.
Despite an energetic start from the visitors Heat saw the better of the early attacking opportunities – Alex Smith and Joshua Pin failing to capitalise from a pair of chances.
The hosts delivered the breakthrough on the half-hour, when O’Hare struck a solid volleyed finish from Smith’s cross for his fifth goal of the 2015 campaign.
However, City levelled terms prior to half-time when Keith Chan, in his first senior start for the club, headed in from a lobbed cut-back from Murray.
Heat continued to struggle with City’s high-pressing, counter-attack in the second half and fell behind just after the hour when Poljak continued his break-out season with a considered finish.
City continued to frustrate the hosts with a determined defensive effort before Murray iced the result in the final minutes with a clever finish past the onrushing goalkeeper.
Speaking post-match, City coach Heseldon highlighted the fighting spirit of his young side to earn the full complement of points.
“We’ve been behind in every game we’ve won this year under me and these boys really play for me,” he said.
FNQ FC Heat 1 (Crios O’HARE 30’)
Brisbane City FC 3 (Keith CHAN 36’, Anthony POLJAK 64’, Antonio MURRAY 90+2’)