A second-half penalty from Jheison Macuace proved decisive on Saturday night as Brisbane Strikers edged out Palm Beach SC 1-0 at Mallawa Complex.
Macuace delivered from the spot just after the restart to guide Strikers past the defending Premiers and record their first ever NPL Queensland win on the Gold Coast.
A frenetic start to the match saw the hosts fashion the first chance inside the opening ten minutes when midfielder Justyn McKay forced a telling save from Strikers goalkeeper Michael Weier.
Sharks again came close shortly after as Roman Hofmann saw his dipping thirty-yard free-kick bounce back off the crossbar.
The midfield battle intensified as the half wore on and clear-cut chances proved elusive despite the hosts seeing the better of the play.
However, Sharks spurned a late chance to snatch the lead prior to half-time when Hofmann curled his attempt wide of the target.
Only minutes after the restart, Strikers were on the front-foot when Josh McVey was fouled by Florian Matk in the box, enabling Macauce to dispatch the resulting spot kick for his fourth league goal of 2015.
With Sharks in search of an equaliser the match finally opened up, however Lochlan Reus couldn’t find the target after being picked out by energetic substitute Rees Duncan’s cross.
Chances also failed to fall for Strikers as Trent Clulow saw his shot shave the outside of the post midway through the half.
Late in the half Nik Mirkovic came close to finding the equaliser following a driving run into the box, however saw his shot deflect wide of the target.
The result lifts Strikers into second-place in the NPL Queensland standings, while Sharks remain in seventh.
Speaking post-match, Brisbane Strikers captain Michael Angus refused to single out any one player, saying that the whole team had contributed to the performance.
“We actually don’t have the best history (at Mallawa Complex) in terms of the record, so it’s good to get one back and we’re happy with that,” he said.
Sharks captain McKay expressed his disappointment with the result and said a sharper edge was required if his club were to defend their league title this season.
“The difference at the moment from last year is that in the two boxes, both defence or attack, we don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green or taking our chances,” he said.
Palm Beach SC 0
Brisbane Strikers FC 1 (Jheison MACUACE 49‘p)