Roar fight back to reach grand final
Brisbane Roar clawed their way back against Central Coast Mariners to become the first team into this season's Australian A-League grand final after a tense 2-2 draw in the major semi-final in Brisbane today.
The Roar extended their unbeaten run to 27 games when they stormed back from 2-0 down to claim a determined draw and win 4-2 on aggregate over the two legs.
Brisbane will now host their first grand final since the old Brisbane Strikers won the 1997 decider in the former National Soccer League against Sydney United.
The Roar were looking at their first loss in five months when the Mariners took a two-goal first-half lead, levelling the tie after Brisbane won the first leg 2-0 in Gosford last weekend.
Daniel McBreen's strike ricocheted off Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos in the 39th minute and a minute later Oliver Bozanic unleashed a long-range, left-foot strike to double the advantage.
Brisbane, the hot title favourites, appeared flustered but pulled one back, and regained the aggregate lead, through German Thomas Broich in the 63rd minute.
Brisbane refused to settle for the aggregate win and went after the match equaliser, with Brazilian Henrique scoring with a scorching volley in the first minute of stoppage time.
Central Coast must now beat either Adelaide United or Gold Coast United at home in next week's preliminary final to earn the right to face Brisbane again in the grand final on 13 March.