Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Sportspics
Captain Justyn McKay says Gold Coast City are a match for any opponent in the league following their win over Brisbane Strikers sent them top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland ladder.
City overcame two second-half send-offs on Saturday night at Super Sports Centre before Nik Mirkovic sealed the dramatic 4-2 win with a stunning goal in the final minute of regular time.
City conceded the opening goal to Strikers’ Jake McLean before launching a stunning fightback against last year’s PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Premiers.
Jarrod Kyle levelled terms for City just minutes after the opener before defender Martin Vazquez prevailed in a goal mouth scramble to edge City ahead on the stroke of half-time.
Strikers levelled terms via Michael Lee just before the hour before Vazquez delivered his second to restore the advantage.
City appeared on the ropes as Kyle and Eoghan Murphy were both dismissed for second yellow cards in the closing stages, however substitute Mirkovic ensured all three points with a mazy run and expert finish for his first goal of the campaign.
McKay said the result – City’s fourth straight win - was indicative of the team spirit fostered in the team this year.
“It’s really brought us together getting these wins. There’s a lot of confidence in the group now.”
He added,“It feels like we’re a proper team this season and there’s a lot of unity in the group and the coaching staff is all as one.”
“It really shows at times like that when you’re up against it.”
McKay said that the result proved City are genuine title contenders in 2017, but was quick to clarify that it is still early in the season.
“I think we’re a match for any team in the league and we showed that tonight. (Strikers) are a very good team and they won the league last year.”
“So as long we stay together, keep doing the right things and keep working hard, I don’t see any reason why we can’t push for that top spot in the table.”
“But there’s a long way to go yet,” he concluded.
The win moves City three points clear atop the table of early season front-runners Brisbane Olympic, who conclude Round 5 on Sunday afternoon against Sunshine Coast FC.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 5
Saturday, March 26
Super Sports Centre, Runaway Bay
Gold Coast City FC – 4 (Jarrod KYLE 18’, Martin VAZQUEZ 45’ 58’, Nik MIRKOVIC 90’)
Brisbane Strikers FC – 2 (Jake MCLEAN 11’, Michael LEE 55’)
Gold Coast City FC Squad – 1. Ryan MESKELL, 2. Riley DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY (3. Oskar DILLON 89’), 8. Curtis STOLLERY (14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS 66’), 9. Jarrod KYLE, 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 21. Sam SMITH (11. Nik MIRKOVIC 62’), 22. Jaiden WALKER
Unused Subs: 10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA, 20. Josh LANGDON