Fire Keep Burning Bright
Sunshine Coast Fire made it three wins on the trot on Sunday afternoon, overcoming Brisbane Roar NYL 2-0 at Stockland Stadium.
Jayke Cuschieri opened the scoring early in the second-half and Futa Nakamura sealed the result just five minutes later.
After a loss against Redlands at Perry Park, the Roar was keen to get back to winning ways with Coach Jeff Hopkins making multiple changes including the addition of A-League squad member Devante Clut.
The game started with Roar settling into their typical possession brand of football pinning the Fire into their own half, but with little penetration into the final third.
Fire began to gain a foothold in the game in the final 25 mins of the first half. Brock Messenger had a chance and later Futa Nakamura forced a great save from the Roar keeper Fraser Chalmers.
Roar’s solitary attempt on goal in the first half came when the lively Clut brought Fire goalkeeper Antony Hall to a full-stretch save following a rasping 25 yard drive.
After the restart the Fire had the wind at their back and pressed higher, forcing an early mistake when the Roar attempted to play out from the back.
Cuschieri picked up possession on the half-way line and as the Roar defenders backed off Cuschieri took a shot from 30 yards which deflected slightly off Roar player Lachlan Jackson to nestle into the right-hand corner.
Full of momentum, Fire went on the hunt for a second when Messenger produced a trade-mark over-lapping run to earn the hosts’s corner. Cuschieri’s delivery was met by Nakamura who speared the ball into the roof of the goal.
Roar searched for opportunities to get back into the contest, however left themselves vulnerable to a series of Fire counter-attacks as Nakamura, Cuschieri and Matt Needham all spurned chances to seal the win.
The final quarter hour saw in Fire’s final third, however Hall was only challenged once following a shot by Brandon Borello.
The win lifts Fire into third place on the NPL Queensland table, equal on points with league leaders Brisbane City.
Roar, who are now three games without a win, sit in ninth place on the ladder.
Sunshine Coast Fire 2 (Jayke CUSCHIERI 49’, Futa NAKAMURA 53’)
Brisbane Roar NYL 0
Words & Image: Emily Wilson (Sunshine Coast FC Fire)