Smash and grab from Mariners
by Tomasz Ng:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14, Round 24
3:00pm, Sunday 23 March – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Engelaar 34’)
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Kim 45+2’, Ibini 77’)
Central Coast Mariners stole three points away from Melbourne Heart after a smash and grab 2-1 win at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
Orlando Engelaar delighted a rather subdued home crowd with a stunning opener in the 34th minute, but the home side only had to blame for letting the game slip before their eyes.
Kim Seung-Yong slotted in a fine finish just before the half time break, while Bernie Ibini rounded off a result with around fifteen minutes left on the clock.
The game was devoid of intensity for the first half hour, with Heart the only team looking likely to create any chances.
David Williams had the first real chance in the game after dispossessing Eddy Bosnar following a poor backpass, but he only succeeded in shooting well wide of the target.
Mate Dugandzic was next to send a scare through the Mariners defence in the 30th minute, squaring a ball towards Iain Ramsay inside the six yard box, but Zac Anderson was on hand to clear the ball and the danger was averted.
Heart went even closer a minute later after Jason Hoffman had a cross deflected onto the crossbar.
As the Mariners counter attacked down the other end, Massimo Murdocca dispossessed Nick Fitzgerald just as he was about to pull the trigger, and the ball spilt to Engelaar who was waiting close to the centre circle.
The giant Dutchman then produced a moment of magic, shooting from within his own half and comfortably lobbing Liam Reddy to open the scoring out of nothing.
Central Coast had looked lethargic up to this point, and almost didn’t see out the half, especially when Ben Garuccio curled in a dangerous low ball that evaded both Williams and Dugandzic as it trickled just past the far post.
The Mariners then got a goal of their own on the stroke of half time when Kisnorbo failed to deal with Reddy’s long clearance.
Matt Simon then played in Kim who dummied Hoffman before curling the ball past Andrew Redmayne for the equaliser.
Conceding at that point only seemed to fuel the home side, who came out strongly after the break.
They only managed to break the Mariners in the 57th minute however, when Robbie Wielart sent Willams away with a splitting through ball, but Reddy saved the forward’s shot to keep the scores level.
Williams then got his head on the end of a wonderful cross from Dugandzic four minutes later, but once again Reddy was there to palm the ball behind.
In an attempt to change things up, Heart boss John van ’t Schip brought on Harry Kewell and the club captain almost put the home side in front but for Reddy’s sharp reflexes.
The Mariners goalkeeper then created the second goal for the visitors in the 77th minute.
From a goalkick, Marcel Seip headed the ball on for Ibini, who had just been brought on as a substitute.
The young forward then did the rest, confidently slotting the ball past Redmayne, who would be filthy with his defence for letting the Mariners score from nothing once again.
Nick Fitzgerald then almost extended the visitors’ lead six minutes later when Anthony Caceres played in the winger, but despite having two bites at the cherry, he couldn’t find the back of the net.
Going behind took the sting out of Heart’s attack, and substitute Stefan Mauk should have done better when he skied a shot in the 88th minute from a Williams cutback.
In the end the Mariners saw out the match and came away with a result that they desperately needed, while Heart’s slim finals hopes have been well and truly dashed.
Melbourne Heart FC:
1. Andrew Redmayne [GK], 3. Robbie Wielart (c), 4. Orlando Engelaar, 7. Iain Ramsay (10. Harry Kewell +64’), 8. Massimo Murdocca, 13. Jonatan Germano (21. Stefan Mauk 81’), 15. David Williams, 17. Jason Hoffman, 19. Ben Garuccio, 23. Mate Dugandzic, 24. Patrick Kisnorbo
Unused Subs: 20. Tando Velaphi [GK], 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 22. Nicholas Kalmar
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners FC:
12. Liam Reddy [GK], 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Marcel Seip, 5. Zachary Anderson, 8. Nick Montgomery (c), 11. Nick Fitzgerald, 17. Anthony Caceres, 19. Matthew Simon (9. Mitchell Duke +74’), 21. Mile Sterjovski (20. Bernie Ibini +65’), 25. Eddy Bosnar, 26. Kim Seung-Yong (7. John Hutchinson +55’)
Unused Substitutes: 1. Justin Pasfield [GK], 15. Storm Roux
Yellow Cards: Fitzgerald 59’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (Japan)
Assistants: Luke Brennan, George Lakrindis, Shaun Evans
Pitch Rating: 8/10
Game Rating: 6/10
3. Orlando Engelaar (MH)
2. David Williams (MH)
1. Liam Reddy (CCM)
By Tomasz Ng