Mariners claim second after convincing win
The Central Coast Mariners’ 3-0 triumph over beaten AFC Champions League finalists Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium this evening has elevated the yellow and navy to a season-high second place at the halfway point of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season.
The Central Coast Mariners- 3-0 triumph over beaten AFC Champions League finalists Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium this evening has elevated the yellow and navy to a season-high second place at the halfway point of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season.
Matt Simon, Sasho Petrovski and Adrian Caceres were each on target for the home side against the battle hardened Reds, who three days earlier had concluded up their recorded-breaking continental conquest with a 5-0 aggregate loss to Japan-s Gamba Osaka.
Adelaide-s tiring schedule aside, the Mariners still oozed quality throughout this match to claim a hard-earned, richly deserved and valuable three points that moves the reigning Premiers to second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder with ten regular season rounds still to play.
Furthermore, the Mariners are now within three points of Hyundai A-League frontrunners the Melbourne Victory, who host the Mariners next Friday in what looms as a telling Round 12 clash at the Telstra Dome.
"Adelaide looked reasonably sharp early and our second goal came at a great time," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna after the match.
"In the second half they chucked men forward and really had a go at us and we defended well - our performance was solid, we-ve had better performances, but tonight our shape was good, our work rate was good and particularly our shape in defence was great."
The visitors looked enthused from the outset and perhaps shaded early chances and possession until Simon-s eighth strike of the campaign swung the match in the Mariners- favour.
Simon was ideally placed to convert just centremetres away from the goal line after Dylan Macallister-s neat flick from Bradley Porter-s centre was deflected towards goal by Adelaide-s Scott Jamieson and ultimately into Simon-s path.
Having been so impressive a fortnight ago against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, Porter again underlined his quality this evening by playing a significant part in each of the Mariners- goals - most notably Petrovski-s strike just before the break.
Porter-s searching near post corner found Nigel Boogaard, who flicked his header into Petrovski-s path - the season three Mariners Golden Boot winner making no mistake from close range to power home his fourth of the season.
Another Porter corner effectively sealed the points for the Mariners shortly after the break, with Adelaide-s backline only able to clear the former Qantas Young Socceroos- cross as far as midfield ace Caceres, who produced the finish of the evening to cap what was a convincing Mariners showcase.
Were it not for the intervention of Adelaide custodian Eugene Galekovic coupled with some perhaps wasteful finishing, the Mariners could well have extended their advantage in the final stages.
However, tonight-s three-goal triumph over one of the Hyundai A-League heavyweights is just the tonic for the Mariners- Premiership defence with the business end of the season set to begin in earnest.
"We said all week that this game was a big one for us - we got three points and we-re sitting second where we think we deserve to be," said McKinna.
"Playing Melbourne in Melbourne, we love playing down there, we-ve had some great games down there and it-s going to be a huge game.
"We-ll be going down there knowing what to expect from them, but we-ll be back ourselves that we can go down there and get a result."
The Mariners- quest for top spot in the Hyundai A-League continues on Friday, 21 November when they travel to the Telstra Dome to face table toppers the Melbourne Victory. Kick off is at 8pm.
The Mariners are next at their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 6 December when they host the Queensland Roar in Round 14. Kick off is at 6pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.
Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny Vukovic (gk), 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Bradley Porter, 7. John Hutchinson, 10. Adrian Caceres (6. David D-Apuzzo 75-), 11. Dylan Macallister, 16. Nigel Boogaard, 18. Alex Wilkinson, 19. Matt Simon (9. Nik Mrdja 77-), 22. Sasho Petrovski (17. Matthew Osman 67-), 23. Mile Jedinak
Unused Subs 30. Andrew Redmayne (gk)
Yellow Cards Wilkinson 90-+2 Red Cards None Goals Simon 18-, Petrovski 44-, Caceres 50-
Adelaide United 20. Eugene Galekovic (gk), 2. Robert Cornthwaite, 4. Angelo Costanzo, 6. Cassio (3. Alemao 57-), 7. Lucas Pantelis, 10. Cristiano (21. Jason Spagnuolo 66-), 13. Travis Dodd, 14. Scott Jamieson, 18. Fabian Barbiero (15. Jonas Salley 73-), 19. Saso Ognenovski, 22. Diego
Unused Subs 30. Mark Birighitti (gk)
Yellow Cards Barbiero 65-, Spagnuolo 72- Red Cards None Goals None
Referee Matthew Breeze Crowd 7,865