A hat-trick from Jheison Macauce guided Brisbane Strikers to a 3-0 win over Western Pride at Briggs Road Complex on Saturday night.
Macauce’s haul lifts him to the top of the PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland Golden Boot tally with 12 goals for the 2015 campaign.
The win also moves Strikers into top spot on the league table ahead of Sunday’s results, while Pride drop to eighth – their lowest position so far this season.
Macauce delivered the opening goal only ten minutes into the contest courtesy of a swift counter attack from a Pride corner.
The Colombian nearly added a second soon after when his lobbed shot struck the crossbar after clearing debutant Pride goalkeeper Mikey Wilson.
Pride nearly restored parity midway through the half as a goalmouth scramble was cleared off the line by the Strikers defence before Macuace struck again on the half-hour – heading home a pin-point cross from Scot Coulson.
The hosts again came close as Harrison Sawyer saw his header shave the post shortly after, while Coulson was denied by a solid save from Wilson just before half-time.
Pride took control of the contest after the restart but continued to be frustrated – striking the post and seeing two further attempts cleared off the goal line.
Strikers’ resilience paid off with a quarter hour remaining as Macauce sealed the result, and his first hat-trick of the campaign, with a headed finish from substitute Josh McVey’s cross.
Pride finished strongly as Lincoln Rule struck the crossbar from a free-kick, but were ultimately unable to breach Strikers’ defences.
Speaking post-match, Pride coach Karl Dodd said his side “couldn’t buy a goal” on the night.
“The second half was good but unfortunately we couldn’t hit the net but the goals we conceded, I think we should’ve done better,” he said.
Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans praised Macuace’s return in front of goal and highlighted the performance of Coulson.
“Not only with his deliveries in for Jheison’s goals but you also got to look at the other part of it where he got some vital clearances off the line for us off the line tonight,” he said.
Western Pride FC 0
Brisbane Strikers FC 3 (Jheison MACUACE 10’ 30’ 73’)