Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Bambi shot twice in Grand Final
By Chris Dunkerley

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Finals Series - Grand Final
4pm, Sunday 21 April, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0
lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Patrick Zwaanswijk 44’, Daniel McBreen 68' pen)

(Photo Lowenna Rappo for BOTN)

Central Coast Mariners FC are Champions of the Hyundai A-League clubs after defeating Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at a packed Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday evening.

It was a game of fairy-tales; with Western Sydney Wanderers cast in many guises, all with manifest destiny like a Cinderella. The Mariners have been called the 'Little Club that Could" but in recent times the tales have been more from the quill of the Brothers Grimm. In the end the quip that the Mariners spoiling the newcomers media frenzy and clean-sweep in the League would be like killing Bambi. Well Bambi, duly despatched, with a shot in each half.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic gambled on a few key players fitnes, with Mark Bridge and Jerome Polenz reported injured. We has of course without Youssouf Hersi, as were the Mariners without defensive midfielder Nick Montgomery. For their part the Mariners had played 2 games in 10 days but rotation for the AFC Champions League ameliorated the impact - rather all 17 players named were match-fit.

The Premiers started off playing a high pressing line and stifled the Mariners playing out. For 10 minutes or so it worked until the Mariners adjusted to play wider.

A warning came for the Wanderers when veteran ex Socceroo Mile Sterjovski broke the line from a through ball out of defence and chipped the advancing Ante Covic. The ball dipped but only onto the crossabr and out.

Michael McGlinchey’s in-swinging corner was timed for Patrick Zwaanswijk to ghost in behind a decoy run that drew the likely defender fro the ball, and the Dutchman made no mistake in heading the ball itno the top of the net, leaving Ante Covic watching. 0-1

After the break the Wanderers adjusted and resumed their high pressing game, but it was evident that Mark Bridge was flat and Sinji Ono nullified by the screening work of the Mariners midfield. Still they were threat, especially through former Mariners youth league player Kwabena Appiah-Kubi where Josh Rose had his hands full.

The Mariners slowly turned around the posession stat and late in the first half they were pressing with early ball played down the flanks out of defence. Disaster for the Wanderers from one of these raids when Jerome Polenz was judged by referee Peter Green to have moved arm to ball in the area, and awarded a penalty. Daniel McBreen put the ghosts of penalties past out of his mind and slammed it past Covic for a healthier but tenuous lead. 0-2

Mariners 'keeper Mat Ryan still had some work to do but no save was required.

As nails were bitten to the quick in the yellow decked Bays, with memories from 25 months ago still fresh, the stoppage time great wall of yellow thwarted all danger.

After 2 Premierships, and 3 attempts at the Grand Final the little club that could had done it, to the delirious delight of players and fans.

Credit must go to the Wanderers for their achievements; and creating the most of the spectacle on the day - but they can now do what all other clubs have had to do, have a break and plan for next year. Meanwhile the Mariners were on a plane to Korea on Monday monring for their 5th AFC Asian Champions League game, against Suwon Bluewings on Tuesday night.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Finals Series - Grand Final
4pm, Sunday 21 April, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0
lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Patrick Zwaanswijk 44’, Daniel McBreen 68' pen)

    Crowd: 42,102


    Western Sydney Wanderers FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Ante Covic (gk), 2. Shannon Cole, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley 5. Michael Beauchamp (c), 6. Jerome Polenz (16. Rocco Visconte +77’), 8. Mateo Poljak, 9. Dino Kresinger (7. Labinot Haliti +67’), 10. Aaron Mooy, 14. Kwabena Appiah-Kubi (11. Tarek Elrich +71’), 19. Mark Bridge, 21. Shinji Ono
    Substitutes not used: 23. Jason Trifiro, 30. Carlos Saliadarre (gk)

    Coach: Tony Popovic

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Mathew Ryan (gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 14. Michael McGlinchey (29. Nick Fitzgerald +88'), 16. Trent Sainsbury, 21. Mile Sterjovski (19. Mitchell Duke +73’)
    Substitutes not used: - 20. Justin Pasfield (rgk), 5. Zachary Anderson, 17. Anthony Caceres

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: McGlinchey, McBreen'
    Red Cards: NIl

    Referee: Peter Green 7/10
    Assistant Referees: Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh, Assistant referee 2: Nathan MacDonald; 4th Official: Sebre Delovski

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Trent Sainbsury (CCM)
    2. Daniel McBreen (CCM)
    1. Michael Beauchamp (WSW)

    Pitch rating: 6/10 (for a showpiece game it was bad)

    Game rating: 8/10 (for a Grand Final it was far from dour)

    Match report and ratings: By Chris Dunkerley

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here are as attributed.

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