The Central Coast Mariners have secured a historic Liberty A-League victory last night at Industree Group Stadium, grabbing a 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix.
The victory the first for the Mariners at home since re-joining the competition at the start of the season, ending Wellington’s three game win streak.
Annalise Rasmussen proved to be the hero of the night, the local academy product and our first signing scoring the winner in the 76th minute to hand us all three points.
It was the Mariners who put the away side under pressure early, having a few half chances to open the scoring. Peta Trimis blasting over the goal in the eighth minute, before Wellington had their first effort on target in the 10th minute.
The next 20 minutes saw a hard-fought battle, with neither side able to create any clear-cut chances to give them a one goal advantage.
Galic finding a shot on target in the 39th minute, before the midfielder almost scored a screamer from long range shortly after.
Jazmin Wardlow’s cross deflected out by a Wellington defender, before Galic unleashed from 25 yards out. The strike bending just to the outside of the post, as Rylee Foster was only able to grasp at air as she watched it whistle past the goal.
Courtney Newbon was called into action minutes later, when Emma Main found some space out to the right. Her strike destined for the underside of the crossbar before a miraculous effort from our goalkeeper pushed it over, leaving the scores level at half time.
Coming out of the break both sides continued to push for the opening goal of the evening, with Wurigumula almost finding the back of the net in the 69th minute. The Chinese international driving down the right after a beautiful ball from Rasmussen, before cutting in on her left foot.
Beating all defenders in her way, the striker fired a rocket, beating Foster before rising just over the crossbar.
Instead of scoring the opener, Wurigumula ending up as the playmaker as the Mariners hit the lead. The play starting with some brilliant strength from Isabel Gomez, who was able to outmuscle Macey Fraser to win the ball.
The midfielder playing a pass to Trimis before being chopped down from behind, with the referee opting to play advantage as we hit on the counterattack. The youngster then finding Wurigumula in space, who drove the ball goalward.
With Wellington defenders congregating in the penalty area, the striker was able to perfectly pick out the oncoming Rasmussen, who made no mistake from 10 yards out to bury the ball into the roof of the net.
The goal a special one for the club, with Rasmussen first joining the Mariners academy at 11 years of age before ultimately becoming our first signing for the team. The strike handing us a 1-0 lead in the 76th minute.
Resolute defending secured the historic three points in the final minutes of the match, with the score ending 1-0 to the Central Coast Mariners.
Our attention now turns to a trip away to face Melbourne Victory next Sunday afternoon, who currently sit on equal points with an extra game played.