Mariners end long drought with crucial Roar win

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Having not won since December 18 last year, Central Coast Mariners are back to winnings ways after holding off Brisbane Roar 2-1 on Saturday evening.

The game began slowly as both teams settled in to their first meeting of the season. The excitement level finally rose, with Mariners fan favourite Jason Cummings just unable to curl a shot past Roar goalkeeper Jordan Holmes. With the very next play, in-form striker Béni Nkololo failed to capitalise on a tough chance right on goal.

Roar’s early attack failed to conduct any motions outside their own half. Mariners on the other enjoyed possession in their opposition’s half, though chances were constantly shutdown.

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Brisbane were fortunate to escape going 1-0 down thanks to a sliding goal-line clearance from defender Scott Neville, leaving Mariners fans wondering how they didn’t score.

Roar were then unlucky not to go 1-0 up minutes before half-time, with a cross finding the head of Luke Ivanovic and striking the upright.

Mariners fans didn’t have to wait long after half-time, with Nkololo finishing off a switch cross from Cummings in the 49th minute. Seven minutes later and it was 2-0, with German Nicolai Müller sending a free-kick into the back of the net, courtesy of a Brisbane deflection.

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Next it was Roar’s turn. After persevering through the mounting attack of Central Coast, Brisbane capitalised on one of their few chances, with a free header from Juan Lescano going past a passive Ruon Tongyik.

Brisbane’s goal grew their confidence and they narrowly missed tying the game after a strike from Nicholas Olsen was tipped from Mark Birighitti, striking the base of the upright and away from goal.

From there on out Central Coast continued to push the ball into the corners and defend their 2-1 lead right to the final whistle.

A couple of late attacking scares from Brisbane weren’t enough to equalise, with Central Coast now back in the winning books and Roar staying alone at the bottom of the ladder.

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Central Coast Mariners 2 (Nkololo 49′, Muller 55′)

Brisbane Roar 1 (Lescano 69′)

Stadium: Central Coast Stadium

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referees: Nathan MacDonald & Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Tim Danaskos

Central Coast Mariners: Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), Joshua NISBET, Oliver BOZANIC (C) (James BAYLISS 90′), Jason CUMMINGS (Harrison STEELE 90′), Beni NKOLOLO, Marcos URENA (Noah SMITH 71′), Kye ROWLES, Jacob FARRELL, Ruon TONGYIK, Daniel HALL (Storm ROUX 71′), Nicolai MULLER (Damian TSEKENIS 71′)

Unused Subs: Lawrence CARUSO (GK), Cy GODDARD,

Brisbane Roar: Jordan HOLMES (GK), Scott NEVILLE, Corey BROWN, Anton MLINARIC, Thomas ALDRED (C), Rahmat AKBARI, Luke IVANOVIC (Juan LESCANO 58′) , Henry HORE (Nicholas OLSEN 58′), Jesse DALEY (Ville Matti STEINMANN 76′), James O’SHEA, Louis ZABALA (Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH 76′)

Unused Subs: Macklin FREKE (GK), Alec MILLS

Feature Image Credit: Robbie Szafranek

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Mitchell Roese
Mitchell Roese
Sports enthuse currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. Covering the Central Coast Mariners 2021/22 A-League Season

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