There was no Bolt but plenty of lightning as the Roar and Central Coast struck out in a 1-1 draw on a stormy Brisbane Sunday.
Usain Bolt didn't travel with the Mariners as reports of an impending A-League contract for the former sprint champion surfaced and a thunderstorm swept through town, delaying kick-off by 19 minutes.
No time for celebrations: Adam Taggart looks to restart quickly after scoring the equaliser for Brisbane.Credit:AAP
It didn't slow the visitors though, who struck in the fourth minute on the counter through Connor Pain.
The dominant Roar finally converted their pressure into a goal of their own in the second half as the game opened up, but couldn't find a winner.
Adam Taggart was the man to strike for the Roar, but not before he had butchered two clear first-half chances and had another waved away when the VAR again reared its head.
Kalifa Cisse's header was then on target, but the Mariners' go-ahead goal was denied by another tight off-side call, while Taggart earned a penalty but had it waved away on review for the same reason.
The game's opener came from a Mariners counter in what was otherwise a half controlled by the hosts.
John Aloisi's new-look side linked terrifically through the midfield as they constantly flirted with an equaliser.
But they went to the sheds without a shot on target, highly-rated arrival Taggart the prime culprit up front.
Quick start: Central Coast celebrate their opening goal of the season after just four minutes. Credit:AAP
Twice he missed from close range, first toe-poking wide from a cross before then spraying his shot high and wide despite being all alone in front of goal.
They had another golden opportunity cut short by a tight off-side and were unable to jump on a number of other loose balls that presented.
Among all that, Pain was narrowly denied a second when his long-range effort hit the inside of the post.
Taggart returned with improved accuracy, a header forcing Ben Kennedy into his first save before the goalkeeper also turned away Jack Hingert's long-range slash.
Hingert wore the captain's armband with Matt McKay relegated to the bench and Spanish recruit Alex Lopez preferred in midfield, where he produced a quality 84-minute shift.
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