Brisbane Roar Youth were forced to battle all the way, and rode their luck at times, when they went to Coplick Family Sports Park and beat a talented Gold Coast United team 3-2 on Sunday evening.
Young Roar were behind the eight ball early when Sam Smith dispatched a third-minute penalty for United but fought back into the game through goals to Josh Moreland and Louis Zabala.
With a half-time lead looking likely, Roar conceded from a corner as United’s returning attacker Elliott Ronto poked home a finish from inside the six-yard box.
A finely balanced second half was finally broken open when Eli Adams triggered the celebrations with a rocket finish from close range, effectively deciding the contest and extending the winning streak to five games.
With plenty of players absent for varying reasons, it was a win which could define the season and keeps Young Roar in second place on the ladder leading into a crucial run of fixtures.
After full-time Head Coach Chris Grossmann was clearly ecstatic with the result but reserved plenty of praise for the opponents.
“Gold Coast gave us exactly what we expected from them,” he said. “I told the boys before the game that if you look at the table it belies their ability because they are a lot better side than where they currently sit and they proved that today.
“But we worked through adversity and got a good and probably deserved win in the end.”
For the final 15 minutes Brisbane were put under intense pressure as United bombed forward but the defence held out against a string of repeat corners and multiple opportunities within the penalty area.
Grossmann was hugely proud of the resilience displayed by his charges.
“The boys said after the game that we would have lost last year and they are right,” he agreed. “It wasn’t a pretty game but sometimes you have to play away and win ugly.
“It was a massive opportunity for us to get more points leading into next week [against Olympic FC] and we won through strength of character despite everything they threw at us.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the short term with vital games against Moreton Bay United and Peninsula Power over the coming weeks but next stop is Goodwin Park as the boys take on one of Brisbane’s powerhouse clubs, fourth-placed Olympic, at 4:45pm on Sunday.
Gold Coast United – Smith pen 3’ – 1-0
Young Roar are caught napping on the left side of defence allowing GCU to win a penalty which Smith slams high down the centre of the goal.
Brisbane Roar Youth – Moreland 28’ – 1-1
Adams finds space in a tight area, lays a delicate pass to the onrushing Moreland who confidently slots the ball under the keeper.
Brisbane Roar – Zabala 45’ – 1-2
Brisbane work a training ground corner to Zabala on the edge of the area. He rounds a defender and fires a stinging shot inside the left hand upright.
Gold Coast United – Ronto 45+2’ – 2-2
GCU sling a dangerous corner into the near post which Young Roar fail to clear, allowing Ronto time to equalise from close range.
Brisbane Roar – Adams 68’ – 2-3
Brandon McMorrow combines cleverly with Zabala. The zippy North Queensland product squirts an inch-perfect cross to Adams who wins the game with a left-footed finish.
NPL 2021 Round 10: Gold Coast United vs Brisbane Roar Youth
Coplick Park, Tallebudgera
Sunday 23rd May
Gold Coast United 2 (Smith pen 3’, Ronto 45+3’)
Brisbane Roar Youth 3 (Moreland 28’, Zabala 45’, Adams 68’)