Central Coast Mariners missed out on their chance to solidify their position amongst the A-League elite as they were defeated 2-0 by Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Mariners failed to break into the top four of the A-League as VAR once again took centre stage.

By the end of the encounter the hosts were down to nine men after Wout Brama and Jake McGing were given their marching orders in the second half.

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Mariners began the better of the two sides with Andrew Hoole first to test the visitors defence in the opening minutes of the encounter.

A frustrated Wanderers spent the opening stages of the match couped up in their own half as they attempted to regain possession and test the opposition’s defence.

Western Sydney’s first opportunity of the match came after 15 minutes as Josh Risdon’s cross almost found Brendon Santalab at the back post.

Crosses were a feature of the first half with Jake McGing proving a threat for the hosts as he found Andrew Hoole in the penalty box. The midfielder chested the ball into the path of Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic.

Josep Gombau’s side opened the scoring after 27 minutes with impressive build up play that began with Janjetovic. The goalkeeper’s throw fell to Mark Bridge before his cross-field pass found Santalab on the edge of the box.

The Wanderers’ veteran took advantage of a poor Mariners defence as his strike from outside the box flew past an outstretched Ben Kennedy to open the scoring for the visitors.

Central Coast continued to threaten the Wanderers defence despite falling behind with Daniel De Silva coming within inches of restoring parity while Connor Pain forced an impressive reflex save from the Wanderers custodian.

Paul Okon’s side endured a tough start to the second half as Gombau’s men doubled their advantage five minutes after the break as Alvaro Cejudo’s finish capped off a slick counter attack from the visitors.

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The Mariners attempted to find a way back into the encounter however their hopes were dashed when the VAR intervened and Wout Brama’s tackle on Roly Bonevacia was adjudged to be a red card offence.

The hosts struggled to contain Western Sydney with 10 men and the matter was made worse when the VAR once intervened yet again and McGing was the next Central Coast player to be sent off.

Okon’s side failed to find a way back into the encounter and were fortunate that Western Sydney were unable to add to their two goal lead.

Central Coast Mariners 0

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Santalab 27′, Cejudo 50′)

Central Coast Stadium (7,199)

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referees: Ryan Gallagher and James Cleal
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

 

Central Coast Mariners

1. KENNEDY Ben (gk), 3. ROSE Josh, 4. MCGING Jake, 5. GOLEC Antony, 7. HOOLE Andrew, 9. ASDRUBAL, 10. De SILVA Daniel, 11. PAIN Connor, 15. BARO Alan (c), 16. ROSE Liam, 23. BRAMA Wout.

Substitutes: 18. GLOVER Tom (gk), 2. ROUX Storm, 8. POWELL Blake, 13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena, 14. BERRY Adam.

Western Sydney Wanderers

20. JANJETOVIC Vedran (gk), 4. RISDON Josh, 8. BONEVACIA Roly, 10. CEJUDO Álvaro, 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei, 19. BRIDGE Mark (c), 22. ASPROPOTAMITIS Jonathan, 24. LLORENTE Raúl, 25, 33. THWAITE Michael, 42. BACCUS Keanu.

Substitutes: 30. HALL John (gk), 3. CLISBY Jack, 9. RIERA Oriol, 15. BACCUS Kearyn, 18. CORNTHWAITE Robbie.

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Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL