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Maclaren hat-trick steers Roar to big win

NZN 2/04/2017 Vince Rugari

A Jamie Maclaren hat-trick has helped Brisbane Roar come from behind and thrash the Central Coast Mariners 5-1 in the A-League on Sunday night.

Shunned by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou for last month's World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and the UAE, Maclaren continued his rich vein of form by scoring his three goals in a stunning eight-minute stretch.

Veteran Thomas Broich got in on the goalscoring fun while teenager Nick D'Agostino finished the job in stoppage time with the goal of the game at Suncorp Stadium.

It was Maclaren's third career hat-trick and drew him level with Besart Berisha on 18 goals in the battle for the the A-League golden boot.

It will also ensure further interest in Maclaren from A-League rivals and clubs all over the world in the off-contract striker's services for next season.

The win lifted the Roar to third place on 39 points, and in the box seat to host a home final, while the Mariners remain bottom with two rounds of the regular season to play.

Central Coast took the lead in the 49th minute, with poor defending from Avraam Papadopoulos on the halfway line and a retreating Jade North opening the door for Fabio Ferreira to take a free ping from the edge of the penalty box that was too good for Jamie Young.

Had Roy O'Donovan's attempt two minutes later gone in, rather than hitting the post, it might have been an entirely different game.

Instead, the Roar - who were surprisingly flat until that point - responded with a furious attacking barrage and Paul Okon's side could only hold on for so long.

Maclaren levelled the scores in the 62th minute, responding after Harry Ascroft blocked his initial shot by following up at the near post with another that went through goalkeeper Ivan Necevksi's legs.

Four minutes later, he slammed home Brandon Borrello's cross from close range when Liam Rose overran the ball and allowed him the opportunity.

Then substitute Manuel Arana slid through a neat ball for the 23-year-old to bear down on goal and tuck the ball past Necevski and seal his hat-trick.

Maclaren could have had more, having hit the woodwork between his first and second goals.

Broich found the net on 83 minutes with a right-foot finish from another Arana assist before D'Agostino's right-foot curler from 20 yards rounded out the scoring.

Despite his goalscoring heroics, Maclaren said he didn't feel like it was his best performance.

"I felt like my touch was off, my finishing was off," he told Fox Sports.

"But I went in to half-time thinking chances are going to come my way.

"I'm just thankful they went in and all the hard work pays off.

"I'm finishing strong this season, like I did last year as well, and I'm just feeling good and ready for the finals."

Okon says he was disappointed with how badly the Mariners fell away.

"A lot of the goals we concede are not goals A-League teams should concede," he said.

"We've known that for a while."

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