Taggart stays cool in crisis to spearhead Roar recovery
Adam Taggart hardly looked a man that had marked his Brisbane Roar debut with a goal when the full-time whistle closed Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Central Coast Mariners.
The 25-year-old was a picture of frustration as he hunched over in acknowledgement of the numerous chances that had gone begging in the lead up to his equaliser at Suncorp Stadium.
An abnormally profligate first 45 minutes began with a trio of squandered opportunities in the aftermath of Connor Pain’s shock early opener on the break.
Among the wasted openings was a wayward left-footed finish under little pressure from Tobias Mikkelsen’s cushioned touch that summed up his struggles.
Fox Sports reporter Daniel Garb provided insight at half-time into just how the misses would have been troubling Taggart, revealing the striker was known to occasionally lose confidence during his time at Perth Glory.
On this Round 1 clash, however, he refused to let any demons take hold.
In the 65th minute, having just had a goal chalked off for offside, the seven-cap Caltex Socceroo held his nerve to stretch Roar’s unbeaten run against the Mariners to 13 matches.
He skilfully swivelled on a mishit Stefan Mauk shot and clinically rifled past Ben Kennedy for a long-coming equaliser.
It was a pure poacher’s finish, the kind that earned him a ticket to the FIFA World Cup™ in 2014.
The goal was also just one of the striker’s seven shots, as many as the entire Mariners side combined and four more than any other player on the pitch.
Brisbane boss John Aloisi would certainly have enjoyed that kind of service in his playing days and there was enough in Taggart’s performance to justify the faith of a coach that has tracked him closely ever since he bagged a hat-trick for Newcastle Jets back in November 2013.
“He’s got a lot of belief in me, I’ve got a lot of belief in him,” Taggart told Fox Sports of the pair’s relationship prior to the match.
That won’t have wavered despite the up-and-down nature of a vibrant 90-minute display.
While there was to be no treble that his clever movement and instinctive positioning might have warranted on another day, Taggart certainly suggested he has the right ingredients to match the production fellow former Glory man Jamie Maclaren enjoyed in Queensland.