Roar through to A-League final
Queensland Roar progressed to next week's A-League preliminary final after ending the Central Coast Mariners' season with a lively 2-1 home minor semi-final win.
The Roar clinched the two-legged tie with goals from Mitch Nichols and Matt McKay to go through 4-1 on match aggregate. Queensland were always in command of the second leg after beating the Mariners 2-0 in the first leg in Gosford last Friday and effectively put the tie out of the Mariners' reach with a 2-0 lead after 49 minutes.
Substitute Nik Mrdja gave Central Coast some hope when he pulled one back in the 64th minute but despite end-to-end football, they could not score any more goals to pressure Queensland. Skipper Craig Moore made the rush trip back from Australia's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier with Japan in Yokohama on Wednesday to lead Queensland's defence against the Mariners.
The in-form Roar, who are now unbeaten in their last six games, will take on the loser of the Melbourne Victory-Adelaide United major semi in the preliminary final on 21 February. The Mariners can now focus on their debut AFC Champions' League campaign, which gets under way against Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic at home on 11 March.