Roar down luckless United

Brisbane Roar have started their National Youth League campaign in fine fashion, weathering a storm from defending champions Gold Coast before powering home late in the second half to claim a 2-0 victory.

Brisbane Roar have started their National Youth League campaign in fine fashion, weathering a storm from defending champions Gold Coast before powering home late in the second half to claim a 2-0 victory.

In gusty conditions at the Cleveland Showgrounds, both sides took time to shake the off-season rust, but it was the visiting United who settled soonest.

Gold Coast created the most opportunities and as a result, will head home thoroughly disappointed not to have taken a single point.

Scrambling and struggling for the majority, Brisbane's first goal came on the counter through Brandon Borrello in the 65th minute and from that point the hosts looked a new side, finishing with confidence and a second goal courtesy of a well-taken penalty from Kenneth Dougall.

The Roar had scattered chances throughout the contest but for the bulk it was Gold Coast playing the superior football, and with greater accuracy from their marksmen they could easily have put the game away before half-time.

In a further blow to the luckless United, Hyundai A-League option Tahj Minniecon left the game at half-time, appearing to be in genuine pain after a bone-shaking collision with sturdy Brisbane stopper Matt Acton.

Daniel Bragg was awarded the first of four United yellow cards at the quarter-hour mark, but the Roar's attacking set-piece broke down and when Jake Barker-Daish broke away on the counter, it took a sharp right-handed save from Acton to keep the visitors scoreless.

Brisbane's best opportunity of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Jack Hingert broke down the right flank and sent in a beautiful cross that sailed inches over the head of Nicholas Fitzgerald, who had broken free in the area.

Confusion and errors in the Brisbane back four saw Gold Coast hit a period of dominance at the 30-minute mark, with Chris Lucas twice threatening from close range, Daniel Sevgrino blasting just over and Minniecon putting himself in on goal only to be pulled back by the linesman.

United's pressure looked certain to be rewarded when an unmarked Bragg took a cross at the penalty spot, but the midfielder bounced his shot high and wide, epitomising his side's first half.

The visitors began the second-half entrenched in the Brisbane area, but the shots from Bragg, Barker-Daish and company continued to miss the mark.

Gold Coast's continued squandering of opportunities finally caught up to them when the freshly substituted Borrello was on-hand at the penalty spot the area to capitalise on some sensational build-up work from Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald seemed spurred by his goal-assist, and with the former-Mariner spearheading a suddenly venomous the oar attack, the hosts finally had the ascendancy.

Gold Coasts frustrations with the turn of events came to a head in the 70th minute, with an errant slide-tackle from Matija Simic on Alistair Quinn gifting the Roar a penalty, which Dougall slotted with a minimum of fuss.

Brisbane sustained the pressure until the final minute and could easily have stretched the lead into embarrassing territory with some cleaner finishing from Quinn and Fitzgerald.

Brisbane 2 (Borrello 65, Dougall 70) Gold Coast 0