Mariners deliver a winning farewell to Garang Kuol

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More than 10,000 fans attended Garang Kuol’s final game for the Mariners, with the home side ending 2022 with a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory.

The game marked the end of Kuol in the A-League Men, as he moves to Newcastle United in the English Premier League. 

Victory were keen to spoil the farewell, though, and began brightly. William Wilson created a good chance for Nani, with the Portugese star denied by a last-ditch block.

The home team responses quickly to the visitor’s quick start, with Jason Cummings finishing off a nice team move inside 10 minutes.

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Garang Kuol was a key part of the goal as he switched the ball to an overlapping Storm Roux. Roux then whipped in an incredibly dangerous cross for Cummings. 

The recently capped Socceroo looked to have scored his second of the night a few minutes later when he put the ball in the back of the net following a corner. However, VAR intervened to rule the goal out for offside during the scramble preceding the striker’s attempt.

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Meanwhile, Victory’s search for an equaliser was dealt a blow in the 29th minute when Chris Ikonomidis was forced off the field due to injury, with Stefan Nigro coming on to replace him.

The game then took a significant turn in the closing minutes of the first half when Victory found a way back into the game.

A superb shot from Cadete nestled perfectly in the top-left corner of Danny Vukovic’s goal following an advanced position on the left side of the pitch.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Mariners delivered their double sucker-punch of the night in the 53rd minute when Cummings scored again following a corner. But, this time, there was no VAR intervention.

Melbourne coach Tony Popovic turned to his bench for a second equaliser, bringing on Nick D’Agostino and captain Josh Brillante just after the hour mark.

Garang Kuol nearly earned the Mariners a penalty with one final piece of magic, gliding past multiple Victory defenders before passing to Josh Nisbet.

But the VAR review concluded the Victory keeper had gotten to the ball first, and the call was overturned.

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Kuol exited Industree Group Stadium for the final time later in the second half to a standing ovation.

The Mariners were dealt with some scares towards the end of the game, however the Yellow and Navy managed to hold on for the three points.

The win over Victory sees the Mariners end 2022 in second place, while the Victory sit in 10th. 

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Central Coast Mariners 2 (Jason Cummings 11′, 53′)

Melbourne Victory 1 (Cadete 39′)

Industree Group Staduim

Referee: Daniel Elder

Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshield & Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Sam Kelly

Central Coast Mariners: Daniel VUKOVIC (GK)(c), Brian KALTAK, Joshua NISBET, Jason CUMMINGS (Sasha KUZEVSKI 90+5′), Beni NKOLOLO, Harrison STEEL, Storm ROUX, Jacob FARRELL, Nectarios TRIANTIS (Daniel HALL 67′), Marco TULIO (Michael RUHS 78′), Garang KUOL (Samuel SILVERA 79′)

Unused subs: Maximillien BALARD, Thomas AQUILINA, Yaren SOZER (GK)

Melbourne Victory: Mathew ACTON (GK), Jason GERIA, CADETE (Nishan VELUPILLAY 84′), Raimon MARCHAN, Mathew SPIRANOVIC, Leigh BROXHAM, Chris IKONIMIDIS (Stefan NIGRO 29′), Ben FOLAMI, NANI (Nick D’AGOSTINO 62′), Jake BRIMMER (Nathan KONSTANDOPOLOUS 84′), William WILSON (Joshua BRILLANTE 62′)

Unused Subs: Ahamed TALEB (GK), Mathew BOZINOVSKI

Feature Image Credit: Central Coast Mariners

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Edith Yankuba
Edith Yankubahttps://www.afroaussiesandsuccess.com
A curious journalism student seeking knowledge from the world via stories and all things football. Covering the 2022/2023 A-League season for Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners.

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