Sky Blues down Mariners at Allianz

CENTRAL Coast Mariners have suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC in their Hyundai A-League Round 24 clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners have suffered a 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC in their Hyundai A-League Round 24 clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

Goals to Sebastian Ryall and substitute Joel Chianese on either side of the interval ensured the Sky Blues extended their winning streak at home to six matches.

The hosts started the encounter the brighter of the two teams and had a few chances to open their account.

Marquee man Alessandro Del Piero delivered an impressive pass to former Newcastle Jet Joel Griffiths following some neat interplay in midfield early on in the match. Fortunately for the visitors, Griffiths was unable to find the target.

Only moments later, Sky Blues skipper Terry McFlynn tried his luck but failed to test Mariners gloveman Mathew Ryan as he struck his ambitious effort well over the woodwork.

Frank Farina-s men continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts in the 25th minute as defender Ryall opened the scoring for the home side. Ryall made no mistake as he fired his strike on target, netting his third goal of the campaign. However, his shot was deflected by Trent Sainsbury before finding its way past Ryan.

The yellow and navy began to find their feet shortly after and had a few half chances to restore parity to the contest.

The first real opportunity for the Mariners came on the half-hour mark as Hyundai A-League-s leading marksman Daniel McBreen unleashed a powerful header from outside the area, but his effort fell just wide of goal.

Central Coast came close to restoring parity to the clash just before the interval as diminutive midfielder Michael McGlinchey went on a marauding run through midfield and tried his luck. However, Sydney FC defender Adam Griffiths was up to the task for his team and cleared the ball to safety.

It was a cagey start to the second stanza with relatively few clear-cut opportunities created by either side.

McBreen had a great chance to equalise for the Mariners 56 minutes in but he failed to trouble Sydney shot stopper Vedran Janjetovic, as he flashed his strike across the face of goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Young midfielder Rhyan Grant came close to adding another to the scoreboard for the Sky Blues a few minutes later as he connected with a ball inside the box but his header was sent just to the left of Ryan-s goal.

Mariners boss Graham Arnold decided it was time to make changes to his side in a bid to take something from the match, and introduced Zac Anderson and Oliver Bozanic for Pedj Bojic and Nick Montgomery with half an hour remaining in the contest.

McGlinchey had another opportunity to peg one back for the yellow and navy shortly after as he sent a powerful strike from range. However, Janjetovic produced a remarkable save to deny the New Zealand international.

Del Piero came close to adding another goal to his tally of 12 for the season when he fired a right-footed shot from outside the box but shot stopper Ryan cleared the strike, as he dived to his left.

Sydney FC doubled their advantage in the 73rd minute through substitute Chianese. Young gun Terry Antonis delivered a pinpoint pass to Chianese, who made no mistake in finding the net for the first time this season.

Central Coast made several late raids on Sydney-s defence as the clock wound down in a bid to salvage something from the game but the yellow and navy failed to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal.

The goals from Ryall and Chianese proved enough for the hosts to consolidate their place in fifth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Central Coast Mariners play their next AFC Champions League fixture away to Kashiwa Reysol on Wednesday 13 March at the Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium, before returning to Gosford for their Round 25 Hyundai A-League clash with Brisbane Roar next Sunday.

Sydney FC 2 (Ryall 25-, Chianese 73-) Central Coast Mariners 0 Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran Janjetovic (Gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Adam Griffiths, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 13. Tiago Calvano, 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (22. Ali Abbas 90-), 17. Terry Antonis, 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis, 29. Joel Griffiths (16. Joel Chianese 69-) Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan Necevski (Gk), 21. Yairo Yau Yellow cards: McFlynn Red cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic (5. Zachary Anderson 62-), 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 9. Bernie Ibini, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Nick Montgomery (11. Oliver Bozanic 62-), 21. Mile Sterjovski (19. Mitchell Duke 54-) Substitutes not used: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk) Yellow cards: Hutchinson Red cards: Nil

Attendance: 16,155 Referee: Jarred Gillett