On Saturday night at Westpac Stadium the Central Coast Mariners dismantled the Wellington Phoenix 4-1 on their own turf thanks to goals by Danny De Silva, Andrew Hoole, Trent Buhagiar and an own goal.
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Vidosic71’) Central Coast Mariners 4 (Kaluderovic OG 40’, De Silva 54’, Hoole 67’, Buhagiar 93’)
The run down
The Mariners became the first team to win at Westpac Stadium this season with a dominant display in New Zealand.
The visitors never looked back after taking a deserved lead into the break. The team in navy and white kept majority of the possession, field position and boasted more chances in the front third.
De Silva played a hand in a number of attacking forays and was the stand out performer for the Mariners. He was unlucky not to have a goal and assist to his name in the opening 45 minutes thanks to his combination play with the Mariners’ wide attackers.
It took just three minutes for the Mariners to create their first chance of the match through De Silva and from there it was all Central Coast.
De Silva worked his magic in the middle of the park and created chances for the likes of Kwabena Appiah, Connor Pain & Andrew Hoole who were all devastating to the defence.
The best two chances of the first half fell to the Mariners in quick succession when a pin point through ball from De Silva cut a gaping hole in the Phoenix back four. Hoole ran into space, controlled and shot but Lewis Italiano made an impressive one on one save. De Silva then followed up with a shot of his own that was saved.
But the Mariners domination paid dividends in the way of an own goal five minutes before the break when a Hoole set piece took a deflection off the head of Wellington’s Andrija Kaluderovic.
De Silva’s impressive play in the second half continued and the young midfielder was rewarded with a goal in the 54th minute. The Mariners lodged an attack from the left, Appiah attacked the cross that was partially cleared and De Silva picked up the ball and fired home from close range.
Despite taking a two-goal lead, the Mariners weren’t ready to take their foot off and lodged a submission for goal of the season in the 70th minute. After a classy build up, Hooley pulled the trigger on a curling right footer from outside the box that flew into the top corner to make it 3-0.
Wellington hit back just four minutes later when Dario Vidosic’s header connected with a Matthew Ridenton set piece.
But then the two substitutes teamed up to make it four. Blake Powell marked his return from injury with a nice through ball to Buhagiar who calmly slotted his shot past Italiano and ultimately driving the nail into Wellington’s coffin.
40’ KALUDEROVIC OG (1-0): The Mariners opened the scoring through an own goal after 40 minutes of pressure on the Phoenix back four. Hoole’s corner was on the money which took a deflection to put his side 1-0 up.
54’ DE SILVA GOAL (2-0): Danny De Silva was a standout performer and his hard work paid off nine minutes into the second half. He was in the right place at the right time and fired home from inside the box to double the Mariners lead.
67’ HOOLE GOAL (3-0): Hoole curled his right foot around what will be a contender for goal of the season. After some impressive build up, Hoole created space for himself and fired from outside the box – his shot went as tightly into the top corner as possible, giving Italiano no chance to make a save.
71’ VIDOSIC GOAL (3-1): Less than five minutes later the Phoenix hit back from a set piece. Ridenton’s ball into the box found the head of Vidosic who nodded home from inside the box.
92’ BUHAGIAR GOAL (4-1): Buhagiar added a stoppage time exclamation mark when he broke into acres of space. After receiving a perfect through ball from Powell, a composed Buhagiar fired home to make it 4-1!
Paolo in the press
“This hasn’t been a happy place for the Mariners to visit for a number of years so we came over a day earlier and wanted to make sure that we prepared as best as possible because we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Okon said. “Apart from the obvious fact that we’re delighted with three points, the most encouraging thing from us is – it’s away from home and in the manner, we did it.
“We maintained intensity for the whole game and scored some really nice goals. The only disappointing thing was that we conceded from a set piece which we should deal better with. You’re 3-0 up with 20 minutes to go and you know that if you leave the door open, you give them an opportunity. It would have been superb to go home with a clean sheet but I think we thoroughly deserved the victory.
“We’ve got some pace up front, we’re a team that can keep the ball, we’re a team that can counter and if we need to go long there’s someone on the end of it. We wanted to dominate in the middle and I think Wout & Tom were superb who set the platform for us. If they can link up with Hooley & De Silva that’s going to cause problems for any opposition.
“It was important for us to get that second win – we feel as though we’ve been performing well enough but again, I think tonight was similar to the Sydney performance where we performed for the whole game.
“I am the most biased person to talk about Danny De Silva. We know that we’re blessed, we work with him every day. The moment I got this job at the Mariners he was that one player that I was desperate to have. He’s here for performances like that and it’s great that he gets a goal that’s a reward for his hard work. He works the most, he runs the most and really annoys defenders with the way he presses the ball and for him to get his goal was superb for Daniel and great for his confidence.
“We’ve struggled to replicate the performance after a win so next week is important for us. We’re at home, we’ll have an earlier kick-off which hopefully will give us more support. So far the support from home has been magnificent.
“If we’re fair dinkum, which I think we are, there’s a big opportunity next week to get three points. We have enough ability in our squad to compete at home or away and we want to have our say in this competition,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY(gk), 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 10. Danny De SILVA (12.Trent BUHAGIAR 82’), 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Kwabena APPIAH (8.Blake POWELL 69’), 15. Alan BARO, 21.Kye ROWLES (16.Liam ROSE 89’), 23. Wout BRAMA
Substitutes not used: 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 14.Adam BERRY
Yellow cards: Brama 28’
Wellington Phoenix FC: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 4.Goran PARACKI, 7.Gui FINKLER (10.Michael MCGLINCHEY 65’), 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 9.Andrija KALUDEROVIC (11.Hamish WATSON 77’), 13.Marco ROSSI, 16.Ali ABBAS, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c) (12.Adam PARKHOUSE 62’), 23.MATTHEW RIDENTON
Substitutes not used: 30.Keegan SMITH (gk), 3.Scott GALLOWAY
Yellow cards: Rossi 80’
Saturday, 25 November 2017
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners