Melbourne City hammer Mariners and knock on title door

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Melbourne City are well on their way to finishing on top as they prevailed on Sunday afternoon defeating a deflated Central Coast Mariners 3-1 at AAMI Park.

As expected Melbourne City started off well, carrying the momentum for the first half hour.

Nick Fitzgerald almost opened the scoring after 20 minutes after Aaron Mooy’s cross found his head to force Paul Izzo to palm it over the crossbar.

After 34 minutes an against the flow goal stunned the home crowd, Central Coast taking a 1-0 lead courtesy of Mitchell Austin.

City almost replied instantaneously through Ivan Franjic as his cross found Bruno Fornaroli and forcing another excellent save from Izzo.

After half time Melbourne City kept pressing which saw Michael Zullo clip the crossbar within two minutes.

Zullo’s failure to convert didn’t matter however as a Mooy freekick found Patrick Kisnorbo diving for a header to equalise.

Central Coast Mariners began to look even more exposed as City pressed and 54 minutes in Fornaroli’s shot was denied. A subsequent quick counter had Alex Wilkinson hit the post.

Three minutes later a penalty was awarded to Melbourne after Izzo had already made a double save with shots from Fornaroli and Zullo however Fitzgerald was fouled by Jacob Poscoliero in the box. Mooy converted the penalty to make it 2-1.

Ben Garuccio scored his first goal of the season following some beautiful play from Fornaroli, making it 3-1 at 69 minutes.

A blowout looked on the cards as City looked like the only ones to score. Balls from Garuccio and Mooy gave Fornaroli two golden opportunities to extend the lead but both were saved by Izzo.

Things only got worse for Central Coast. Fabio Ferreira received a second yellow for his tackle from behind on Zullo and the Mariners playmaker reacted angrily, captain Nick Montgomery attempting to calm him down.

At six minutes remaining Jacob Melling’s shot hit the post and it things looked fractured all over the place for Central Coast.

With Storm Roux substituted prior to the penalty with a reported broken ankle there was 10 minutes of added time. The final goal of the match came at 90+10 minutes with Mooy scoring a free kick to make it 4-1.

The Mariners were out of legs by the time it finished with Melbourne City playing most of the second term in Central Coast’s half.

The win puts Melbourne City hot on the tails of current league leaders Western Sydney Wanderers, just three points off top spot. It is going to be a very close run to the finish, and form suggests City might just edge it.

  1. SORENSEN Thomas, 2. WILKINSON Alex, 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 8. MOOY Aaron, 11. ZULLO Michael, 18. RETRE Paulo (79’ 25. MELLING Jacob), 19. GARUCCIO Ben (17. DEKKER Wade), 23. FORNAROLI Bruno, 24. KISNORBO Patrick, 27. FITZGERALD Nick (85’ 28. KUZMANOVSKI Steve), 33. MALIK Osama
  1. IZZO Paul, 2. ROUX Storm (65’ 21. NEILL Michael), 3. ROSE Josh, 4.POSCOLIERO Jacob, 5. ASCROFT Harry, 6. AUSTIN Mitchell (90’ 15. MCDONALD Bradley), 7. FABIO FERREIRA, 8. MONTGOMERY Nick, 12. BUHAGIAR Trent (74’ 25. BERRY Adam), 16. ROSE Liam, 19. BINGHAM Josh

Referee: Stephen Lucas

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Clement Tito
Currently studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Clem has experience writing on AFL and has worked at Preston Leader Newspapers in Victoria. He loves reporting, spectating, discussing and playing both AFL and football.

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