The Central Coast Mariners have squandered a 2-0 half time lead, falling 3-2 to Melbourne Victory. The away side scored three goals in the second half to cancel out two outstanding first half strikes by Andrew Hoole.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Hoole 18’ & 45+3’) Melbourne Victory 3 (Troisi 50’, Athiu 68’ & Barbarouses 89’)
The run down
After hitting half time with a two-goal lead courtesy of stunning strikes to Hoole, goals to James Troisi, Kenny Athiu & Kosta Barbarouses saw Melboure Victory claim a last-gasp win.
It was the away side who jumped off to the brightest start, but after handling a wave of early attacks, the Mariners were able to shift the momentum after 15 minutes, to create a run of chances.
Then, in the 18th minute, Hoole dispatched his first of two impressive free kicks of the half to give the Yellow & Navy a 1-0 lead. On the stroke of half time, he hit another one to make it 2-0.
After Hoole’s first effort, it was all in the Mariners’ favour with Tom Hiariej & Jacob Melling bossing the midfield. The home side were first to everything, playing with high intensity.
Even after Hoole’s two sensational strikes, Jacob Melling almost stole the headlines with an unbelievable volley from distance which drew a busy Lawrence Thomas into an equally impressive save. Hoole’s two free-kicks had the Mariners 2-0 up at the break.
After the second half kicked off, it all turned in favour of the Victory, largely due to the influence of half time substitute Elvis Kamsoba who was lively on the left. Five minutes into the second half, Kamsoba’s efforts on the wing set up Troisi for Victory’s first goal of the game.
In the 69th minute the ball bounced around in the box before it dribbled over the line, Kenny Athiu was credited the equaliser.
With eight minutes to go, Matt Simon had a prime opportunity to put his side up 3-2 but his header from Connor Pain’s cross was wide of the target.
The fears of Mariners fans became a reality with a minute to go, Victory had their equaliser in the 89th minute. Barbarouses made it 3-2.
18’ HOOLE GOAL (1-0): It was a dead ball that gave the Mariners a first half lead. Absorbing pressure from the Victory in the first 15 minutes, the home side turned the tide and they were rewarded when Hoole fired home from distance to make it 1-0.
45+3’ HOOLE GOAL (2-0): In first half stoppage-time it was Hoole who stepped up again. Like clockwork, Hoole sensationally smashed home his dead ball from distance to double his tally and the Mariners’ lead.
50’ TROISI GOAL (2-1): Started by second half substitute Elvis Kamsoba on the left, his ball into the box found Troisi who steadied himself and calmly shot past Ben Kennedy.
69’ ATHIU GOAL (2-2): After Kennedy failed to deal with a cross from the right, Athiu poked the loose ball towards goal and while the Mariners gloveman did his best to claw it around the post, it deflected into his own net.
89’ BARBAROUSES GOAL (2-3): After being kept quiet for most of the match, Barbarouses delivered the final blow from the right to claim three points for Melbourne Victory.
“We were excellent in the first half, two world class free-kicks. We performed exactly the way we wanted to perform. We caused them problems, created chances.
“I’m a bit numb now, it’s very raw – thinking about what happened in the second half. We were a little spooked in the second half, they put Kamsoba on the wide left, he changed their shape, it brought a bit of uncertainty.
“Decision making let us down in key moments in the game. In all this doom and gloom, results aside, we’re on the right pathway playing some bloody good football. We just can’t see 90 minutes out. It’s happening far too often.
“We need to look in the mirror. You always need to look in the mirror first. We will do that and get ready for next week.
“The guys can look each other in the eyes and say that they gave everything for each other. At the end of the day you have to give credit to Melbourne Victory, they sensed a bit of blood in the second half and they went for it, they utilised the players they have and they were able to dissect us,” Mulvey said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7. Andrew HOOLE (10.Tommy OAR 71’), 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 22.Jacob MELLING (8. Michael MCGLINCHEY 89’), 25.Jordan MURRAY (68.Jem KARACAN 53’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 3.Jack CLISBY
Yellow cards: Melling 12’, Simon 70’, Pain 73’, Karacan 87’
Melbourne Victory: 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 3.Corey BROWN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Tommy DENG, 15.Raul BAENA (5.Georg NIEDERMEIER 85’), 16.Josh HOPE (24.Elvis KAMSOBA 46’), Carl VALERI (C) (25.Anthony LESIOTIS 44’)
Substitutes not used: 1.Matt ACTON (GK) & 11.Ola TOIVONEN,
Yellow cards: Deng 17’, Broxham 47’
Saturday, 2 February 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford