Central Coast Mariners 2 (Hoole 19’, McGing 56’) Sydney FC 0
The Run down
In a night to remember at Central Coast Stadium the Central Coast Mariners defeated reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, Sydney FC 2-0 to earn their first win of the campaign.
Goals to Andrew Hoole & Jake McGing were enough to silence Sydney FC and keep them scoreless which allowed the Mariners to notch up their second consecutive clean sheet and momentous win in front of a vocal Central Coast Stadium!
Paul Okon’s Yellow & Navy made an impressive showing in their first win of the campaign against Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC for Remembrance Round on Friday night.
The first half opened with high energy, as both sides tussled for possession and looked for an opportunity to attack.
Carney and Brosque threatened briefly in the early minutes for Sydney, and ex-Mariner Alex Wilkinson just missed a chance to capitalise on a set piece, but it was the home side who held the bulk of possession.
The Central Coast built momentum, stringing together long series of passes to keep Sydney on their toes – Hoole and Asdrubal kept Andrew Redmayne under pressure. In the 10th minute, Hiariej fed Connor Pain who thundered down the left wing, but was thwarted by the defence at the near post.
Less than ten minutes later, the Mariners high-energy momentum paid off, as Andrew Hoole opened up the score line with a composed finish to put the Yellow and Navy 1-0 up.
Neither team was afraid to muscle up. Wilkinson took a yellow card for a challenge on Asdrubal, and a wayward Sydney elbow split Baro open, but the Spaniard was patched up and back on his feet.
The Central Coast continued to apply the pressure, with opportunities created by Jake McGing and Tom Hiariej, and Pain continued to show his pace on the wing, but the score remained 1-0 to the Central Coast as the half time whistle blew.
Both teams returned from the sheds with renewed vigor, and the second half proved a far more physical and heated affair. Baro, Brama and Hiariej all picked up yellow cards, and Bobo was the second Sydney player to receive a booking. Some scrappy play culminated in more physical clashes, and Ninkovic went down on the Sydney goal line from a head clash.
A spike in attacking activity from the Sky Blues early in the second half faded as the Central Coast regained their hold on the game. Kwabena Appiah stepped in for Asdrubal at half time, and his pace combined with De Silva’s intuitive play to create chances for the home team.
After continuing to threaten in attack, McGing doubled his side’s lead in the 56th minute, with a header that ricocheted off the bottom of the crossbar.
A third goal was only inches away in the 77th minute, with a clinical cut across the box from Hoole just out of reach for the Mariners front line.
Despite sporting a head bandage courtesy of his first half injury, Alan Baro shone in defence, with several key clearances in combination with Antony Golec. Unfortunately a second yellow in the 84th minute saw the Spaniard sent off, and the Central Coast played the remainder of the match with ten men.
In the final moments, the atmosphere at Central Coast Stadium was palpable, as the home supporters could almost taste victory. Joshua Brilliante and substitute Matt Simon looked hungry to score, but some sharp saves from Ben Kennedy and an unstoppable Central Coast defence kept the Sky Blues goalless.
With the final whistle, the Central Coast left the pitch in celebration, with two goals and clean sheet to defeat the reigning champions.
Full focus for the Mariners now turns to back-to-back home games where the Yellow & Navy host Adelaide United at Central Coast Stadium on Thursday night.
19’ HOOLE (1-0): De Silva put in a quality ball from the left wing to Asdrubal, who sent it on to Andrew Hoole. ‘Hooley’ hurtled through the Sydney defence and slotted a neat finish just inside Andrew Redmayne’s post.
56’ MCGING (2-0): This time Hoole played creator and his corner found a charging Jake McGing. The pinpoint set piece paid dividends when McGing’s header crashed off the crossbar and doubled the Mariners lead.
Paolo in the press
“We were very close last time we were here against Victory, so tonight it was important,” Okon said. “It was more than just a performance tonight.
“I had a really strong feeling that we were going to play our football and we’ve done that in every game so far. Tonight, was about not letting anything slip. We knew we had a chance, we just had to match their commitment, their hunger.
“They’re a team that runs hard, and we knew that if we could run just as much, if not more, we would have a chance, and in the end I think we deserved the three points.
“Every win is special and certainly tonight is a big occasion for us, for the club. It’s our first win, it’s against the Champions, the benchmark. I’m really happy that we gave nothing away in terms of opportunities, we did very well on set pieces, and apart from that Sydney never created anything
“We’re delighted, that’s two weeks now with a clean sheet, three games now we’re unbeaten, and hopefully this can give us that confidence that we can win, so that’s important.
“We want to certainly win more games at home. We had fantastic support tonight and we have another game on Thursday which is a tough one for people to choose if they’re going to stay home, kids have to go to school.
“We have to hope that after tonight there is more belief in us from our supporters, who have been tremendous thus far, and that as many people turn up on Thursday to help us get over the line in what is another important A-league fixture
“I sent a message to Tom today telling him that if he was serious, we needed him to be our best player, and he promised me, and he delivered. It’s not a surprise, we know his qualities.
“Tom, and Wout were not only great tonight but have been tremendous for us this season, and I think they’ll only get better and certainly play their part throughout the season.
“Kwabena Appiah has been one of our best players all season and he’s only started once, so if Asdrubal isn’t fit, ‘Kabsy’ can do the job, and Trent as well. Hopefully it’s something minor, but right now we feel like we have enough depth to cover him.
“Next Thursday will be another challenge, Adelaide are a strong team but we’re at home, we’re playing good football, and we’re going to make sure that we bring that sort of mindset to the game, because it’s going to be no different. If we don’t, we risk the same thing that we’ve had previously where we’ve played good, we’ve dominated, we’ve had our opportunities but we’ve left points, and we don’t want to do that, we’ve done it enough this season, and hopefully we can build on it,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY(gk), 3. Josh ROSE, 4. Jake McGING, 5. Antony GOLEC, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 7. Andrew HOOLE (86’ 16. Liam ROSE), 9. ASDRUBAL (45’ 13. Kwabena APPIAH), 10. Danny De SILVA (82’ 12 Trent BUHAGIAR), 11. Connor PAIN, 15. Alan BARO, 23. Wout BRAMA
SUBSTITUTES: 14. Adam BERRY, 20. Adam PEARCE (gk)
Yellow cards: 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 23. Wout BRAMA
Red Cards: 15. Alan BARO (2 Yellows)
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Alexander WILKINSON, 5. Jordy BUIJS, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 9. BOBO, 10. Milos Ninkovic, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE (80’ 16. Anthony KALIK), 17. David CARNEY (63’ 18. Matthew SIMON), 26. Luke WILKSHIRE (73’ 8. Paulo RETRE)
SUBSTITUTES: 30. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 22. Sebastian RYALL.
Yellow cards: 4. Alex WILKINSON, 9. Bobo
Friday, 10 November 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC