The first 14 minutes were even, then after the goal the ball raced from end to end. Maceo Ritgers showed some real class early, turning and shooting, getting past his man. And suddenly it was all Gold Coast - pushing high and Brisbane unable to get out from the back - Theo was under pressure, closed down and pressurised by Ritgers - where was this going?
The Coast's left winger Ben Halloran was playing a blinder, but more amazing was the speed from Stefanutto - where did that come from? He and Matt Smith saved the Roar time and again. While overall Mitch Nichols was the best player on the park, Steff was brilliant , the best I have seen from him. Brisbane started to show a roughness we haven't seen from Ange's team.
Towards the 40 minute mark the game turned again. Paul Beekmans, Gold Coast's new Dutch import was found out. And overall, far from being youthful, the team seems overweight and slow. The 30 minute pressing of the Roar left Gold Coast without energy and gasping, too old, too slow.
Apart from the the occasional early threat, the second half was all Brisbane. At the time it got to 3, 6 seemed possible. But Roar slowed and held possession, protecting players and preparing for the great challenge ahead next week in Adelaide.
By the way, it should have been 4, the ref missed a clear hand ball penalty in extra time.