Carlton has beaten Brisbane by just one point at the Gabba, after a dramatic match with many swings of momentum in Opening Round.

The Blues trailed by as much as 46 points, before piling on eight goals in a row. The lead chopped and changed in the second half, before Blues forward Harry McKay kicked his third of the night with 71 seconds left to give his team the lead for good.

The Blues then resisted the hosts in a mad goal-mouth scramble in the final seconds, to win 13.8 (86) to 12.13 (85).

Both sides ended the game with injury to a key player.

Brisbane’s Keidean Coleman was subbed out after his clearing kick just before half-time led to a collision with a Carlton player that left Coleman lying on the ground in pain. He ended the game on crutches.

Carlton’s Sam Docherty also limped off to have his knee checked out. He came back on before being subbed out in the third quarter.

Carlton’s win was their first at the Gabba in more than a decade, and ended the Lions’ 14-game home winning streak dating back to round 23 in 2022.

And it came in incredible fashion.

The Lions had carved out seven first-quarter goals and it looked an easy night for the hosts in the preliminary final replay.

A Brisbane Lions player lies on the ground as his teammates gather round him.

Keidean Coleman is out of the game for Brisbane after a collision just before half-time left him lying on the ground in pain.(Getty Images: AFL Photos/Dylan Burns)

But the Lions stumbled. The injury to Coleman appeared to check the momentum of last year’s losing grand finalists, and the Blues sensed their moment.

They kicked eight straight before the sides played out a tense, see-sawing final quarter broken open by McKay, who fought a torrid battle with Harris Andrews all night.

The visitors’ run started when Zac Bailey didn’t hear the whistle and was penalised for running into an open goal, with a 50-metre penalty leading to Charlie Curnow’s second goal.

Curnow quickly added a third before Jack Payne’s risky exit kick backfired and Matthew Kennedy scored the Blues’ fifth in a row.

After Curnow marked again, basic Lions errors helped Carlton to two more goals and a surprise three-point lead.

In between there were eight straight behinds from the Lions, who lost their composure and their radar.

Joe Daniher’s head was in his hands when he ignored an open Lincoln McCarthy in front of goal and blazed wide.

The forward made amends, plucking a strong mark at the top of the goal square to finally end the Blues’ run and snatch back the lead.

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McKay replied with his second, though, and Charlie Cameron missed a simple set shot to give the Blues a one-point lead at the last break.

The lead changed three times in the last quarter, with Patrick Cripps pushing forward to cancel out Bailey’s early goal.

Cameron picked up Adam Saad’s bobbled mark and threaded the needle for a five-point lead with eight minutes to play.

Points then dried up, until McKay held his nerve from 40 metres on a slight angle to set up the win.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog.

Key events

That’s where we’ll leave it

The Carlton bench reacts after a win over Brisbane at the Gabba.
It’s been a big night for the Carlton football club(Getty Images)

Ok, we are two games down in the 2024 season, and there’s been no shortage of incident in either!

Tomorrow we will be back with two games to wrap up Opening Round — the Dimma clash between his old and new sides as Gold Coast host Richmond at Carrara, followed by a rematch of the other preliminary final, with GWS hosting the Magpies at a sold-out Giants Stadium in Sydney.

Look forward to seeing you then!

Patrick Cripps happy with the Blues win

The Carlton skipper is speaking to Fox Footy, and no surprise that he’s happy.

“They’re a tough side (Brisbane), they play well up here.

It’s interesting conditions with the humidity … I’m so proud of the boys, it takes a lot of maturity to change the game [when you’re behind].

“Some of those big guys were awesome.” 

Asked about Michael Voss’ response at half-time, Cripps said he didn’t give the team a rev in the rooms.

“He was really calm. We felt in the last 10 minutes of the second quarter we started playing the way wwe wanted to,” he said.

“It was a bit of calm and a bit of method. We believed in our run, and … we play our best when we play hard and with energy.”

The Blues are back in town

That is a huge win for Carlton.

You can’t say it was expected. The Lions had won 14 in a row at their fortress, and when they kicked seven goals to one in the first quarter there only looked like one winner.

Brisbane was moving it Lions-style, quickly and sharply downfield and the understrength Blues defence was struggling.

Players like Lincoln McCarthy and Dayne Zorko were all over things. The Gabba crowd was ecstatic. But right near the end of the second quarter things began to shift.

The Blues started to apply the pressure, and the injury to Keidean Coleman right before the main break was important.

If you ever doubted that football games can change quickly, just look at the start of the third quarter.

Seven inside 50s to Carlton. Six goals.

They were unstoppable. Michael Voss will be clipping those minutes up, to show his team exactly what they are capable of.

Seven goals from Curnow and McKay is just what the doctor ordered for the Blues. If they can keep both their key forwards up and running they will be dangerous.

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They won’t be able to let too many teams get that far in front like that, but the Blues will take huge confidence from tonight, although they still will be desperate for a few defenders to come back.

For Brisbane, this is a hard loss to take, particularly with the injury to Keidean Coleman. The running defender was one of Brisbane’s best in the finals series, the team would not want to be without him if it’s a serious injury.

In the end, the Lions let Carlton get back in the game and they couldn’t get over the line in the end. What a contest!

The mark that set up the winner

Harry McKay marks for Carlton against Brisbane.
The key moment … Harry McKay took the vital grab before kicking the winner with a minute left(Getty Images)

Full-time: Carlton hang on to beat Brisbane!!!

And it’s over!! The siren goes with the ball on the wing, and Carlton has beaten Brisbane at the Gabba for the first time since 2013! They come back from 46 points down at their lowest point to beat the Lions on their home deck.

Michael Voss is laughing on the ground almost in shock at his team’s win, while on the other side of the ground Brisbane’s Keidean Coleman is making his way around the boundary on crutches. The highs and the lows of footy.

Lions in attack in the final minute

The Lions go forward, it’s in the square but no one can mark.

It’s all on the line. Jaspa Fletcher has the ball, he’s tackled.

It’s knocking around. The Blues hack it clear, it runs out with nine seconds on the clock.

Time running out for the Blues … but now Harry McKay strikes!!!

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Carlton are taking desperation marks here to stop the Lions just running things down here.

Big mark from McGovern, he goes long inside 50 … and McKay marks! What an effort!

Can he hold his nerve. HE CAN!!!

The Blues lead by a point, there are 71 seconds left!!! What a finish

Brisbane try to run the clock down

It’s the Lions turn to play it cool here.

Forward of centre, the Lions try to hold it, but they finally go to the pocket, and Charlie Cameron delivers a hit to the ribs of Mitch McGovern.

Cripps is back on the ground! We are under three minutes.

Five minutes on the countdown clock – Lions still lead

The ball goes out of play in the Carlton right forward pocket. It comes out, goes back in and Zorko takes it out.

Cripps is still off the field on the wrong side of the ground.

The Lions re nearly clear! Jordan Boyd is caught with the ball but it’s too high! The crowd hoots in fury. Four to go

Patrick Cripps is waiting to come back on

The Blues skipper is talking to coach Michael Voss on the sidelines. He will need to come back on very soon, as his side tries to play tempo footy.

It doesn’t last! Errors coming from both sides here.

Brisbane in front through Charlie Coleman!

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Q4, 8:00 remaining: And as soon as i say that, one player keeps his feet and his nerve.

The Lions went forward inside 50 to a one-on-one with Adam Saad and Charlie Coleman. Saad took the ball but spilled it, and the Lions’ fans favourite ran to his right and hooked it round his body for a goal!

The crowd ROARS, Country Roads plays at earsplitting volume, Brisbane lead again by five!

Both sides scrambling with 10 minutes left

Where is the key move coming from? It is ferocious out there, and a series of behinds have left things with a point lead to the Blues.

Who is going to grab control here … or are we going to be watching through our fingers in the final seconds?

Both sides are tiring out there…

Carlton get a big goal to Patrick Cripps

Q4, 14:50 remaining: Patrick Cripps has been banged about a bit tonight, but he’s still on the park and he’s still dangerous.

It’s been fierce stuff at the start of the final term, and the ball has been hot. Now the Blues get the ball out from De Koning to Harry McKay, who sends it long perfectly over a Lions defender to land in Cripps’ hands.

He nails the set shot, and that could be crucial! Blues by 1 

Brisbane get the first of the last – Lions lead again!

Zac Bailey and Charlie Cameron celebrate for Brisbane
Zac Bailey’s mark and goal gave the Lions the lead early in the final quarter(Getty Images)

Q4, 18:15 remaining: They needed to start strong, and they did! The crowd is roaring as the Lions get the ball on the left wing, spread it out and then send it across to the right side of forward 50, where Zac Bailey gets the mark,

And he nails the kick! Brisbane by 5!

It’s on for the final quarter

Who wins this? I don’t know. 

The Blues have the momentum – can the key Lions lift at the right time? This would be a shock if the visitors can hang on.

3QT: Charlie Coleman misses an easy one and the Blues lead by a point!

Good grief! What a quarter! Brisbane have one last great attack, and Charlie Coleman takes a mark near the goalsquare. The crowd erupts!

AND HE’S MISSED IT! Wow, that looked like a straightforward shot. It’s just a point.

Time runs down, and the siren goes, and it’s Carlton by a point!

Now it’s Carlton in front!

Q3, 3:27 remaining: We’ve got a live one here! The Blues aren’t willing to let Brisbane hold the lead, and they move it quickly and the ball lands in the hands of Harry McKay. Another great mark!

He slots a right-to-left kick that goes through. now it’s Carlton by two! 

Lions grab the lead back through Joe Daniher!

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Q3, 5:10 remaining: Suddenly the Lions get down the other end, and Joe Daniher takes a ride over Lewis Young. What a great mark!. He lands, turns and swings his leg through it from a few metres out. GOAL!!!

The strains of Let It Go from Frozen ring out around the Gabba, and Brisbane lead by four!

This is on now!

Q3, 5:51 remaining: The Lions have a huge fight on their hands right now. They haven’t kicked a goal since half-time, and they don’t really look like it. Players like Neale and McCluggage are quiet, the momentum and the energy is all with the visitors.

As it stands, Brisbane desperately needs something here.

They had a chance there, as Joe Daniher swept towards goal in the left side of 50, but his big boot from distance drifted wide.

The Blues come back but their attack also ends in a behind. There are two points in it, but it’s very much advantage Carlton.

Carlton hit the front!!!!

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Q3, 11:49 remaining: Eric Hipwood misses a set shot at one end for the Linos, and Carlton make the home side pay!

They sweep downfield again, and it and this time it’s Matthew Cottrell who snaps one – CARLTON LEAD!!!

 At half-time, the Blues had 22 inside 50s and four goals. Now, they have 29 inside 50s and 10 goals. Six goals in seven forward entries!!! Incredible.

dan