NPL finals: Edgeworth rue poor start in loss to Queensland Lions

Eagles captain Josh Evans
Eagles captain Josh Evans

EDGEWORTH paid the price for a slow start as they fell to Queensland Lions 1-0 in the National Premier Leagues play-offs on Saturday night.

Prolific scorer Marek Madle bagged his 20th goal in 16 games for the hosts when he struck in the fourth minute at Lions Stadium. Andrew Thompson was put in behind by a ball from former Roar player Jean Carlos Solorzano and he crossed for Madle to finish with a low shot. 

The Eagles had a chance soon after when Josh Rose hit a shot over the goals and Daniel McBreen was wide with header from close range. Edgeworth, though, went closest when McBreen found the back of the net in the 85th minute only to be ruled offside. The veteran striker was sent off for a second bookable offence a minute later when he collided with goalkeeper Luke Borean.

Eagles coach Damian Zane was frustrated with the overall officiating and said the offside call against McBreen was wrong. He also believed more injury time should have been added on.

“I said to my guys afterwards that they did well, but that’s why you can’t start like that when you are playing interstate,” Zane said.

The Eagles next play Newcastle Jets in a trial at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday from midday.

After the 3-0 grand final defeat to Magic and loss of Tyson Jackson (ankle) and Dom Bizzarri (hamstring) to injury, Edgeworth had new starters in Aaron McLoughlin, Aaron Oppedisano, Liam Spurway and Daniel McBreen against the Lions.

McBreen started with Rose up front in a new combination.

“They came out of the blocks a lot better than than us but with a few new guys starting, that was going to happen,” Zane said.

“Chances wise, though, at half-time I thought it was pretty even.”