Le Fondre double seals tight victory over the Mariners

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Goals from Adam Le Fondre and Joe Lolley were enough for Sydney FC to defeat Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in a ten-man contest at Allianz Stadium, with Jason Cummings scoring twice for the Mariners.

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The first half of the match was filled with frantic action, as both Sydney’s Rhyan Grant and Mariners’ Brian Kaltack were sent off.

For the Sky Blues, it was their first return to Moore Park in almost a month. So a lot was riding on Sydney FC as hosts to defeat Nick Montgomery’s side. And they did just that on their turf.

Le Fondre’s eighth goal of the season in the 72nd minutes settled a thrilling match for the home side.

In a 3-2 victory over the Coasties, Sydney FC coach Steve Corica praised the character and spirit of his team.

“Fantastic spirit, fantastic character from the boys. They played really well, especially in the second half; they really dominated,” Corica said.

“The last two weeks have shown the fighting spirit they’ve got to come back. In both games, they can only get more confidence from this game.”

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Celebration started early for the home team as Adam Le Fondre scored the opener for the Sky Blues with a deflected shot in the 10th minute.

However, the game was quickly levelled when Jason Cummings fired a powerful strike from the penalty spot. Having come into contact with Rhyan Grant, referee Ben Abraham upgraded the defender’s yellow card to red.

But that wasn’t the only red for the night. A foul by Kaltak outside the visitors’ penalty area on Burgess ended the Mariners’ numerical advantage just a few minutes later.

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Yet another controversial decision that Mariners coach Nick Montgomery said was “never a red card,” and Corica thought both dismissals were “pretty soft.”

A few minutes after Kaltak was sent off, Cummings doubled the visitors’ lead with a clinical finish from about 10 yards out. The goal was the Socceroos’ 10th of the season.

Tulio had a golden opportunity to double his team’s lead, but the Brazilian had no luck.

“That probably summed us up today; Marco scores a goal, it’s 3-1 and probably game over,” Montgomery said.

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“Some moments in the game really cost us today, and that’s why we go away empty-handed.”

With both sides trading half-chances, a quality performance was necessary to break open the game.

Le Fondre provided just that. The afternoon’s winner came from Le Fondre, who doubled his tally thanks to an assist from Paulo Retre.

For the away team, it’s two losses in three games. Yet, Montgomery remains steadfast in his belief in his team’s ability.

“With plenty of games left, we just have to try again and keep going.”

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Feature Image Credit: Sydney FC

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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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