Sunshine Coast FC remain unbeaten after fighting back from two goals down to draw FNQ Heat 2-2 at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Alex Smith and Mqondisi Nkiwane scored a goal each to give the visitors a two goal margin at the break, before second half goals to Fire’s Japanese duo of Takumi Kinoshita and Kenya Takahashi secured the hosts a point.
Fire saw the better of the early possession but struggled to create a clear cut chance.
Smith scuffed his first attempt at goal for Heat nine minutes in before making amends just before the quarter hour after being felled by Fire goalkeeper Dale Hill.
The Heat midfielder openign accounts with a curled shot into the top corner from the resulting free kick for his second goal of the campaign.
Chances were created at both ends as Crios O’Hare shot just wide of the target shortly after before Brady Cronk forced a telling save from Heat shot-stopper Kev Ward with an effort from close range.
Ward was called upon again after the half hour, producing a stunning save to deny Fire’s Kaine Frew from the penalty spot.
Fire spurned further oppurtunities in the first half as Takahashi shook his marker only to shoot wide of the target and countrymen Kinoshita forced another save from Ward.
However, Heat weathered the storm and doubled the lead just before the break – Nkiwane cleverly chipping Hill to cap off a full-field passing movement from the visitors.
Fire showed more initiative immediately following the restart as Cronk scooped his shot over the crossbar on 49 minutes.
Three minutes later the hosts halved the margin as Kinoshita’s created space for a shot before benifitting from a deflection to beat Ward in the Heat goal.
Heat continued to create chances but proved unable to beat Hill for a third time – Smith forcing a save before Jamie Carroll’s chipped attempt dropped just wide of the target.
The visitors were made to rue their misses when Takahashi made good on his promising afternoon, controlling a cutback from Ray Schultz before firing home a low shot from ten yards with 13 minutes remaining.
Fire sought the match-winner, leaving themselves exposed at the back. However, Heat missed a late chance to secure all three points when O’Hare side-footed a shot across the face of goal in the final minutes.
FNQ FC Heat 2 (Alex SMITH 14’, Mqondisi NKIWANE 45’)
Sunshine Coast FC 2 (Takumi KINOSHITA 52’, Kenya TAKAHASHI 77’)