Western Pride and reigning premiers Brisbane Strikers played out an energetic 2-2 draw in their first-round PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland encounter at Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Saturday night.
Goals from Hikori Omori and Rhys Meredith took Strikers into the lead after a Mitchell Bird opener before a Hayden Mchenery header ensured both teams shared the points.
All the scoring came after the break after an energetic but niggerly first-half as both sides blew out the cobwebs of a long off-season break.
Pride gave debuts to Luke MacDonald in goals, as well as Delors Tuyishime and Dylan Wenzel-Halls, while both Joe Duckworth and Mchenery made their second debuts after returning from Brisbane Roar.
28’ – CHANCE FOR STRIKERS – Hiroki Omori gets away the first shot in anger with a rising effort from the corner of the area, but Luke MacDonald makes a regulation save.
35’ – CHANCE FOR PRIDE – Mitchell Bird goes on a diagonal run into the area before passing to Joseph Duckworth. After a one-two with Dylan Wenzel-Halls, Duckworth’s low shot flashes the wrong side of the post.
45’ – CHANCE FOR STRIKERS – Omori unleashes a pile driver from outside the area, forcing MacDonald to make a full-stretch save to push the ball around the post.
53’ – GOAL FOR PRIDE – A byline cutback finds Bird directly in front of goal and the attacker lifts the ball into the roof of the net.
54’ – GOAL FOR STRIKERS – From the kick-off Omori gets free in the right channel to run into the area and fire-off a low shot which is deflected in past MacDonald.
67’ – GOAL FOR STRIKERS – Rhys Meredith’s shot takes a deflection, leaving MacDonald stranded.
78’ – GOAL FOR PRIDE – A Delors Tuyishime corner finds a rising Hayden Mchenery who heads the ball downwards to bounce just over the goalline.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 1
Saturday, 25 February
Briggs Road Sporting Complex
Western Pride FC 2 (Mitchell BIRD 53′, Hayden MCHENERY 78′)
Brisbane Strikers FC 2 (Hiroki OMORI 54′, Rhys MEREDITH 67′)
Referee – Trent SLEEMAN
Assistant – Isidro Terol CRESPO
Assistant – Mohamed ALIPOUR
Fourth Official – Justin TEMPLE
Words: Garry McKenzie
Images: Chris Simpson
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