Cellar dwellers to title contenders, Mariners beat Sydney to move top

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Central Coast Mariners have produced a major upset, beating Sydney FC 2-0 in hard fought win away from home.

In terms of recent clashes and form over the past seasons in the A-League it was a David vs Goliath clash. Sydney, reigning A-League champions, hosting a Mariners outfit who finished  bottom of the table last season.

The Mariners victory was just their second over Sydney in 18 attempts.

The turning point of the match came in the 50th minute, after Sydney were denied a goal for a tight offside.

Sydney appeared to switch off after this and the Mariners capitalised to open the scoring in the 53rd minute, when Sydney defender Ben Warland deflected a cross into his own net.

Sydney pressed forward in search of an equaliser and were exposed on the counter attack from the Mariners, with substitute Alou Kuol scoring in the 74rd minute to condemn Sydney to their first loss of the season.

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Mariners head coach Alen Stajcic was extremely proud of his young side.

“Sydney are the benchmark… you have to beat the best to be the best and tonight was the test to see how far we had progressed, and I think we have progressed,” he said.

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The head coach stated that it was the happiest he had seen his fans in two years.

“Its just the starting point, the more we grow successful, the more we can connect the team and the community and grow the club to where it once was,” he said.

While the win propels the Mariners to first place, Stajcic was coy on the result when asked if his team could be contenders at the seasons end, stating that the seasons goal was to qualify for the AFC Champions League.

“It’s just a small ray of sunshine… we won’t rest on our laurels,” he said.

Sydney have sorely missed the goals of striker Adam le Fondre, who departed for India in the off-season. The club and fans will be hoping that his replacement – club legend Bobo – will fire when fit this season.

Featured image credit: Glenn Pokorny

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Adam Sheldon
Full time football addict. Passionate about any sport with balls. Covering Sydney FC A-League and W-League teams for the upcoming season.