Phoenix and Mariners share spoils after chaotic four-goal second half

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In a tight contest, Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners shared the points in a 2-2 draw on Sunday, which included an exciting period of three goals in seven minutes.

The match got off to a fast start, with the home side starting well off the back of the loud support from the Yellow Fever.
Play settled down for a while though, with both teams having a fair share of possession in an end-to-end battle.

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Central Coast continued to take control off the game and in the 37th minute they scored, with Jason Cummings nailing a sensational bicycle kick from a Joshua Nisbet cross.

VAR chants started to erupt throughout the stadium though, with Phoenix fans seeing that Beni Nkololo headed the ball to Cummings in an offside position. After six confusing and nerve-wracking minutes, VAR finally ruled offside and no goal, to the delight of the home crowd.

In the 53rd minute, goalkeeper Oli Sail cleared the ball to Zawada, who headed it onto Waine, to score his second goal in two weeks. The home crowd roared, until the linesman ruled for offside.

Waine had to wait only three minutes to have another chance on goal, when Steven Ugarkovic played a perfect lobbed through ball. Waine elegantly the chipped the keeper to give him his second goal in two weeks, for real this time, with no VAR intervention required. The hometown kid went straight to the Yellow Fever to celebrate an excellent goal.

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The Phoenix’s lead lasted only two minutes though, with Central Coast reacting immediately. Samuel Silvera running through the Phoenix’s passive midfield and defence to score a superb goal in the bottom left corner to equalise in the 59th minute to silence the home crowd.

Five minutes later, the Mariners struck a double blow, with Cummings scoring a chip-shot from an Ayongo through ball to put the Phoenix in disarray at 2-1 with 25 minutes to go.

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Play settled down after the three goals in just seven minutes, with no key chances for the next 20 minutes. The Phoenix were desperately hunting for an equaliser, but the Mariners were holding out well.

This was until the 88th minute, when a couple of Mariners deflections off a Phoenix corner led to the ball going into the back of the net, giving the home side the equaliser off an own goal.

The Phoenix have now got two draws from two putting them in sixth, meanwhile the Mariners start their season off with a draw with one game in hand.

Wellington now head on a two-game roadtrip, while Central Coast play Perth Glory at home next week, their first home game of the season.

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Benjamin WAINE 58’, Paul OYONGO 88’ OG)

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Samuel SILVERA 59’, Jason CUMMINGS 64’)

Sky Stadium

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro
Assistant Referees: Mark Rule & Isaac Trevis                                                           Fourth Official: Campbell-Kirk Kawana-Waugh

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver SAIL (GK), Scott WOOTTON, Stefan UGARKOVIC, Timothy PAYNE, Kosta BARBAROUSES, Oskar ZAWADA (Oskar VAN HATTUM 84’), Bozhidar KRAEV (Benjamin OLD 62’), Lucas MAURAGIS (Sam SUTTON 62’), Benjamin WAINE, Joshua LAWS, Clayton LEWIS (Nicholas PENNINGTON 80’)                                                                                                Unused Subs:Alexander PAULSEN (GK), Finn SURMAN, Callan ELLIOT

Central Coast Mariners: Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), Brian KALTAK, Joshua NISBET, Maximilien BALARD (Harrison STEELE 74’), Samuel SILVERA, Jason CUMMINGS (Michael RUHS 74’), Beni NKOLOLO, Storm ROUX, KELECHI (Thomas AQUILINA 68’), Jacob FARRELL, Paul AYONGO                                                                                                             Unused Subs: Yaren SOZER (GK), Cameron WINDUST, Dor JOK, Marco TULIO

Featured image credit: Photomac

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Joshua Dean
Joshua Dean
Aspiring sports journalist! I love sports and enjoy writing, so added my two hobbies together! Studying Journalism at Massey University, Wellington.

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