DANIEL McBreen’s 13th goal of season secured Central Coast Mariners a 1-1 draw in their Hyundai A-League round 16 clash with Melbourne Victory in Tasmania on Saturday.
DANIEL McBreen-s 13th goal of season secured Central Coast Mariners a 1-1 draw in their Hyundai A-League round 16 clash with Melbourne Victory in Tasmania on Saturday.
At Aurora Stadium, the Mariners fell behind in the 42nd minute to a neat Marcos Flores goal, however produced a far more polished performance in the second stanza to ensure they gained a point from their trip to Launceston.
Indeed, Michael McGlinchey earned the Mariners a penalty in the 76th minute of play, with the A-League-s leading marksman McBreen stepping up to coolly slot home from 12-yards and restore parity to the contest.
Victory played fluent, attacking football in the first 45 and right from referee Jarred Gillett-s opening whistle Ange Postecoglou-s men looked dangerous.
Just two minutes in Mat Ryan was forced into a good save from the boot of his Qantas Socceroos colleague Archie Thompson. Seven minutes later Thompson had another chance to open the scoring for Melbourne, however missed the target following a Marco Rojas pass.
Central Coast had their first opportunity to score following a neat move through midfield 16 minutes in. After bursting down the left, McBreen played a precise pass to Adam Kwasnik whose first time shot was collected by Nathan Coe.
Soon after, a mistake in midfield by the Mariners allowed Victory to find Rojas, who put the ball into a perfect area for Thompson. This time, Thompson spooned his shot over the woodwork.
Victory looked set to take the lead in the 31st minute after Nick Montgomery brought down Flores in the box. Gillett had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, with the ordinarily lethal Rojas stepping up to take the penalty kick. Nevertheless, the diminutive New Zealander could only manage to cannon his effort from 12-yards into Ryan-s left post.
But Victory would take the lead their first half dominance probably deserved before the break. Rojas and Adama Traore combined well down the left before the latter cut a pass back into the danger zone. From just outside the six-yard area, Flores slid an accurate left foot shot beyond Ryan.
Graham Arnold-s half-time team talk prompted his charges into action following the restart, with Joshua Rose in particular looking threatening down the left.
Seven minutes after the interval Rose found McBreen whose shot on the turn went wide of goal. Less than a minute later, the left back himself struck at goal, however Coe was well positioned to thwart the effort.
In the 63rd minute, substitute Oliver Bozanic played an inch-perfect pass into the box which McGlinchey fired at goal. Unfortunately for the men in blue, Coe was at his brilliant best to make one of the saves of the season by pushing the goal bound shot away with his left foot for a corner.
At the other end, Rojas and Ryan continued their personal duel in the 63rd minute, with the Mariners custodian again coming out on top. First, Ryan blocked away a shot from the Kiwi, before the former Wellington Phoenix man fired a curling effort at goal. Nevertheless, Ryan was again up to the task as he raced backwards before tipping the on target effort over the bar.
And with less than 15 minutes to play the Mariners struck to ensure they claimed a point on the road against fellow high-flyers Victory. Adrian Leijer-s foul on McGlinchey provided McBreen an opportunity to score from the spot, and the marksman didn-t let his Club down as he fired past Coe to ensure Arnold-s men remain unbeaten in 2013.
Central Coast Mariners play their next two Hyundai A-League games at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium. In round 17, the Mariners host Newcastle Jets in the third F3 Derby of the season on Saturday 19 January. The team then plays second-placed Adelaide United at home on Friday 25 January before venturing to Brisbane on to challenge Roar on February 1.
Melbourne Victory 1 (Flores 42-) Central Coast Mariners 1 (McBreen 77-) Aurora Stadium, Launceston
Melbourne Victory: 39. Nathan Coe (Gk), 3. Adama Traore, 5. Mark Milligan, 9. Marcos Flores, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas (26. Andrew Nabbout 81-), 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14. Billy Celeski, 21. Spase Dilevski (8. Jonathan Bru 61-), 23. Adrian Leijer, 24. Nicholas Ansell (6. Leigh Broxham 45-) Substitutes not used: 1. Tando Velaphi (Gk) Yellow cards: Celeski 45-, Leijer 64-, Ferreira 69- Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 14. Michael McGlinchey, 18. Nick Montgomery (11. Oliver Bozanic 39-), 21. Mile Sterjovski (13. Brent Griffiths 90+3-), 23. Adam Kwasnik (9. Bernie Ibini 46-) Substitutes not used: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk) Yellow cards: Montgomery 6-, Bozanic 67-, Zwaanswijk 87- Red cards: Nil
Referee: Jarred Gillett Attendance: 6,238