Tense draw in grand final rematch
By Chris Dunkerley:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season
5:30pm, Saturday 12 October, 2013 – Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
. Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Mitchell Duke 55‘)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Tomi Juric 87′)
Central Coast Mariners FC and Western Sydney Wanderers repeated the opening game of last season with a draw in front of a colourful, passionate bumper 17,134 crowd (see photos)
Reigning Champions Central Coast Mariners FC this time looked like they had gained a startup three points in Gosford last night with a goal in the second half, but the depth of the Western Sydney Wanderers squad showed as they snatched a late equaliser.
It was a surprise that Wanderers coach Tony Popovic didn’t start Sinji Ono, while Mariners counterpart Graham Arnold included new playmaker Marcos Flores and youngsters Storm Roux, and Zac Anderson instead of Dutchman Marcel Seip.
It was end to end stuff on a surface made for football, and in just the 3rd minute a long through ball from Joshua Rose sent Mariners new Socceroo Mitchell Duke on a run that required Wanderers ‘keeper Ante Covic to come out fast to smother.
By the 15th minute the teams had found their rhythm, and after Storm Roux had got forward and sent a free cross that Nick Fitzgerald couldn’t steer through to goal, the Wanderers got down the other end through Mark Bridge.
An angled shot was parried by Justin Pasfield in the Mariners goal, and he made two more saves before the ball deflected out of play. Mitchell Duke went down in the box in the 37th minute but it was waved away.
The Wanderers were putting pressure on the Mariners on the ball right across the park. Two minutes later Nikolai Topor Stanley sent a header just over the bar from a corner from the left.
As they went into the break it appeared that both teams were evenly matched. In the 55th minute the Mariners took the lead. Marcos Flores fed the ball down the right to Mitchell Duke, who lifted the ball past Ante Covic and into the net. 1-0
With both sides ringing in the changes in personnel, it was not surprise that the Wanders gained the edge.
In the 82nd minute Pasfield was called on to make another fine save, tipping a free-kick over the bar.
The Wanderers drew level in the 87th minute when Youssouf Hersi gained the better of Rose and sent a cross in that the substitute Tommi Juric, running in, met and steered past Pasfield. 1-1
Mariners coach Graham Arnold said after the game, “I think that you can put the goal that we conceded down to the fact that we ran out of legs. We had a late start because of the ACL and at one stage I had four players putting their hand up to come off.” “Overall I think it was a good point. We’re disappointed we didn’t keep the three, but it was a good point. We’re still a work in progress, so we’ve got to be happy with that,” he added.
Central Coast Mariners FC
Player listing: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON (4. Marcel SEIP +79’), 7. John HUTCHINSON (c), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 10. Marcos FLORES (17. Anthony CACERES +79’), 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI 19. Matt SIMON +65’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Liam REDDY (rgk), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS
Coach: Graham Arnold
Yellow Cards: Nick Montgomery 89′
Red Cards: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers FC Player listing: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP (c), 6. Jerome POLENZ, 7. Labinot HALITI (9. Tomi JURIC +52’), 8. Mateo POLJAK (21. Shinji ONO +52’), 10. Aaron MOOY, 17. Youssouf HERSI, 19. Mark BRIDGE (11. Brendon SANTALAB +85’), 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA
Substitutes not used: 20. Jerrad TYSON (gk), 22. Dean HEFFERNAN
Coach: Tony Popovic
Yellow cards: Mateo POLJAK
Red Cards: Nil
Ratings: Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones 6/10
Assistants: David Walsh, Scott Edeling; 4th official: Stephen Lucas
Pitch rating: 9/10
Game rating: 7/10
BOTN Player Points:
3. Storm Roux (CCM)
2. Jerome Polenz (WSW)
1. Marcos Flores (CCM)
By Chris Dunkerley
Some ground photos: