QSL: Sunshine Coast hone in on top spot

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As the finals approach, Round 15 was the time to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Sunshine Coast Fire VS Gold Coast Stars
4-0

In front of a home crowd, the Gold Coast Stars could do nothing but watch as the Sunshine Coast Fire secured a convincing 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.

After a shock loss to FNQ Bulls last week, Sunshine Coast needed to come back strongly, and re-assert their place at the top of the table, and they didn’t disappoint.

Gareth Musson kicked things off with a goal in the 16th minute, which was backed up before half-time by the Fire’s unstoppable captain, Tyson Holmes who also got one past the Stars’ ‘keeper. The pair then got another goal each in the second half, in a clinical display against the inconsistent Gold Coast side.

The win means that Brisbane Strikers (who have a bye next week) now hold just a one point advantage over the Fire, which the 2010 champions will be hoping to hone in on in the final rounds of the regular season. 

Queensland Academy of Sport VS Bundaberg Spirit 

5-2

Queensland Academy of Sport made a successful road trip up to Bundaberg, beating Spirit 5-2 on Saturday night.

But despite reaching fourth spot on the QSL ladder, it was a far from convincing display from QAS.

The game started well enough with Academy’s top goal-scorer Elliot Ronto striking in just the 5th minute, followed by Kwame Yeboah’s goal minutes later. Hard working midfielder Jacob McLean then extended the lead to 3-0 before Spirit got one goal back through captain, Brendan Davis.

QAS got two more in their opponent’s net before the final whistle, but Bundaberg too got one more through Elliot Causer who has come back strongly from injury.

Though they came away with the win, QAS will have to improve before they take on the in form NQ Razorbacks in Round 16.

FNQ Bulls VS Capricorn Cougars
6-0

FNQ Bulls have continued their surge up the ladder, defeating Capricorn Cougars 6-0 in a solid display in Rockhampton, on Saturday night.

Having beaten title favourites Sunshine Coast the previous week, the Bulls went in full of confidence. Though they never reached the heights of Round 14, they got the job done and came away with the three points, which now puts them in third position on the ladder.

The Bulls started slowly, taking a modest 1-0 lead into the half thanks to a nice strike from Nathan Bird. But a much-needed half-time pep-talk from Head Coach Tony Panetta inspired FNQ to lift in the second term.

Within half an hour the Bulls put four more goals past the Cougars, with Josiah Rusch topping it off with a cheeky goal late in injury time. And the Bulls did not neglect proceedings at the back, holding strong in defence to keep their opponents scoreless.

Bird, Rusch and Steven Cater each bagged two goals each, highlighting the wealth of capable goal-scorers within their squad, which will surely make them a force to be reckoned with as the finals approach. 



Brisbane Strikers VS North Queensland Razorbacks
3-3

It was a case of missed opportunities for Brisbane, who failed to follow through on a 2-1 advantage, eventually drawing the Razorbacks 3-3 up in North Queensland.

Knowing that their chances of finals football rested on these last few matches, NQ Razorbacks came out of the blocks with greater enthusiasm than their Brisbane counterparts. However the Strikers managed to subdue the Razorbacks feisty attack, and took a 1-0 lead thanks to Sean Burke’s effort in the 11th minute. But moments before the half, a well executed set piece, finished off with a header from Jacob Crowley, levelled the game.

In the second half, a Brisbane goal was controversially ignored by match officials with the ‘keeper claiming the ball and playing on, after it had appeared to have crossed the goal line.

Razorbacks then dominated as Brisbane lamented the denied goal.

But Strikers rallied and Matt Thurtell got the goal and the lead back for his team.

In front of a loud home crowd, the Razorbacks weren’t done though, and put pressure on the Strikers defence late in the match. They equalised again in the 87th, only for Brisbane’s Ryan Mottin to get the lead back a minute later.

But when NQ’s Brett Hay was brought down in box, the final minute of regular time saw the Razorbacks’ Lee Mayberry clinch an equaliser from the jaws of defeat, topping off a nail-biting night of football.

QSL Ladder
 
#
Club Name
G
W
D
L
F
A
GD
P
1
Brisbane Strikers FC
13
9
1
3
41
15
26
28
2
Sunshine Coast FC
12
8
3
1
39
9
30
27
3
FNQ Bulls
13
6
3
4
31
21
10
21
4
Queensland Academy of Sport
14
5
5
4
29
24
5
20
5
Whitsunday Miners
12
5
4
3
21
16
5
19
6
Gold Coast Stars
12
5
3
4
22
21
1
18
7
NQ McDonald’s Razorbacks
13
4
5
4
31
24
7
17
8
Bundaberg Spirit
12
1
1
10
11
45
-34
4
9
Capricorn Cougars
13
0
3
10
10
60
-50
3


G = Games Played, W = Win, D = Draw, L = Loss, F = Goals For, A = Goals Against, GD = Goal Difference, P = Points

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