The Central Coast Mariners have played out a 0-0 draw against reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, Sydney FC behind closed doors at Allianz Stadium on Thursday evening.
Sydney FC 0 Central Coast Mariners 0
The Run Down
The first chance of the match fell to the Mariners on the left wing thanks to a run by Connor Pain. Pain broke into space and shot from a tough angle but his shot flew just wide of the far post.
Sydney then had a rare chance at the other end after Bobo rifled a long ball to the feet of David Carney on the right wing. Carney delivered a cross to the head of Ninkovic but his close-range effort was just over the crossbar.
The chances continued to flow to the Mariners, this time it came on the right through Kwabena Appiah. Appiah whipped a precision ball to the feet of a charging Danny De Silva but his shot hit the chest of Andrew Redmayne
After a flurry of early chances to the Yellow & Navy, play evened out a touch but the visiting side spent most of their time with the ball in the front third, placing continuous pressure on the Sydney FC defence.
The next chance came again on the left from a Pain run in the 33rd minute. Pain broke in behind the sky blue defensive unit to find the feet of De Silva. De Silva fired a shot on goal but Redmayne was on hand to make another save.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Brandon O’Neill found possession in a dangerous area. O’Neill shot from outside of the area but his effort was wide of Tom Glover’s goal
The Mariners went into the sheds at half time unlucky not to have at least a two goal lead.
Just two minutes into the second half, Sydney FC had a chance to take the lead when Michael Zullo found space on the left. His ball to the back post found the feet of Bobo who volleyed just wide. Just minutes later, Carney crossed to an off-balanced Bobo who’s first time strike flew wide.
The Mariners had their next big chance of the match in the 71st minute via an unlikely attacker in Alan Baro. Tom Hiariej’s perfect dead ball was whipped in with venom and precision, Baro leapt above the pack and headed just over the crossbar.
The match ended 0-0 and marked the Mariners fourth consecutive clean sheet of the pre-season.
Full focus now turns to our season-opening #F3Derby blockbuster on Saturday October 7.
Paolo in the press
“In the first half we were excellent,” Okon said. “I think we could have gone into the break a goal or two up but overall we were defensively solid. I never thought that at any stage we were going to concede.
“We end pre-season on a positive note with another clean sheet and we know that’s an area from last season we needed to improve on. No injuries, minutes into the legs and now we move onto round one.
“Antony and Alan are forming a really good partnership, they are real traditional defenders and they’re really leading the other boys at the back. We are keeping the ball a lot better but in general I think we are working a lot harder when we don’t have the ball. Our structure is good and in any transition moment we are up for the chase and you need plenty of energy to do that which we worked on in pre-season.
“Good players can play together and we probably won’t see the best of those midfield combinations until a few rounds into the A-League, they still need some more games together but we’re all excited to see what those three can deliver [Hiariej, Brama & De Silva].
“We are really strong through the spine which we knew was an area we needed to improve on and we’ve seen the immediate impact during pre-season.
“There’s no way we’re going to pull up the handbrake. We’ve got a recovery session tomorrow, they’ve earned the weekend off and we’re back in on Monday full throttle for what is a very exciting round one fixture for us and our supporters,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 3.Josh ROSE (19.Harry ASCROFT 75’), 4.Jake McGING 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 9.ASDRUBAL (17.Josh BINGHAM 75’), 10.Daniel De SILVA (7. Andrew Hoole 75’), 11.Connor PAIN (21.Lachlan WALES 85’), 13.Kwabena APPIAH (12.Trent Buhagiar 75’), 15.Alan BARO, 23.Wout BRAMA (16. Liam Rose 45’)
Substitutes: 1.Ben Kennedy (GK)
Head Coach: Paul Okon
Sydney FC: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk),4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUJIS, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO (22.Sebastian RYALL 66’), 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBO, 11.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 17.David Carney (16.Anthony KALIK 73’)
Substitutes: 30.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 19.Chris ZUVELA, 25.Cristian GONZALAEZ
Head Coach: Graham Arnold
Yellow cards: Wilkinson 48’
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners