NOUMEA – An early strike from Andrew Barisic and goals from Matt Osman, Gol Gol Mebrahtu, Steve Pantelidis and Michael Thwaite have seen Gold Coast United beat New Caledonia 5-0 at the Stade Numa Daly in Nouméa at the weekend.
The result was dissapointing for New Caledonia, who last year showed good form during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ campaign to finish runners-up – its highest ever placing – and also gained a credible fifth placing at the 2008 Coupe de L’Outre-Mer in France.
But the A-League newcomers proved too strong for New Caledonia in the exhibition match on Saturday. It took just five minutes for Gold Coast to get ahead after Baresic slotted home from a Joel Porter far-post cross.
The home side then went close when Francis Watrone went on a weaving run but was denied by goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan who saved well at the feet of the New Caledonian striker.
Minniecon, Porter and Barisic all went close for Gold Coast while New Caledonia’s Pierre Wajoka caused problems for their defense. The scoreline remained 1-0 going into the break.
The decisive second goal came in the 68th minute when Daniel Piorkowski’s pin-point cross was met powerfully at the near post by Matt Osman who steered his header past goalkeeper Ounemoa.
With the superior fitness of the visitors starting to show, it became one-way traffic towards the end of the match. On 78 minutes, Gol Gol Mebrahtu rounded the goalkeeper to make it 3-0, and soon after Mebrahtu combined with Mitch Bevan and Steve Lustica to set up Pantelidis for his second goal in two outings.
Gold Coast vice captain Michael Thwaite had the last word adding the fifth right at the death when he headed home an Osman free-kick.
Miron Bleiberg’s side now head to Singapore and Hong Kong as part of their pre-season tour.
Photo courtesy of goldcoastunited.com.au