City escape tough battle against 10-man Mariners


The Central Coast Mariners have shown spirit to fight back from two goals down to restore parity against Melbourne City before Paul Izzo was shown red and the 10-man Mariners narrowly tasted a 3-2 defeat.

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Ferreira 45’, OG Tongyik 47’) Melbourne City 3 (Fornaroli 4’ & 64’, OG Montgomery 16’)

The Run Down

The Central Coast Mariners have shown spirit to fight back from two goals down to restore parity against Melbourne City before Paul Izzo was shown red and the 10-man Mariners narrowly tasted a 3-2 defeat.

After last week’s draw away from home in the #F3Derby the Mariners were back at home this weekend, facing Melbourne City at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon despite a goal either side of the break to the Yellow & Navy.

It wasn’t the start the Mariners were hoping for, with the visitors taking the lead in the 4th minute. The Mariners settled into the affair shortly after and thought they were going to be awarded penalty 15 minutes in but referee Adam Fielding waved the claims away. City immediately countered from the Mariners corner and doubled their lead when the ball ricocheted off Nick Montgomery into Izzo’s net.

Despite being 2-0 down, the Mariners had their fair share of chances, with wingers Kwabena Appiah and Pain causing trouble with their constant pace in behind City’s back four.

The Mariners hard work paid off just before the break when Fabio Ferreira unleashed on a deadly free kick from distance that deflected and flew into the net. That momentum carried into the second half and the Mariners went level two minutes into the second stanza where the Mariners levelled up through the second own goal of the match after a cross flew off Ruon Tongyik’s boot past Sorensen.

After a fast-paced start to the second half, both sides settled and started to play possession based football which tipped in the favour  of the Mariners. Although a mistake from the Mariners’ inform goalkeeper, Izzo fell kindly to the feet of Fornaroli who was brought down in attack by an ensuing Izzo which was deemed to be a penalty. Izzo was shown red whilst Ivan Necevski was tasked with the penalty duties, only to see the Uruguayan score his 40th goal in 50th appearance for City.

With just 10 men on the pitch the Mariners gave it everything in the final 30 minutes of play and went close on several occasions to snatching a point but Sorensen was standing in the way. First it was substitute, Josh Bingham who was set up by another substitute in Trent Buhagiar. The attacker shot from point blank with his first touch of the game but the Danish keeper was positioned well to make a save.

The final 10 minutes saw wave after wave of Mariners’ attacks flood the Melbourne City box but the away team did enough to hold onto their three points and one goal lead.

Full attention now turns to Friday night that will see the Mariners face top of the table Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.


0-1 City: Bruno Fornaroli 4’
Fornaroli opened the scoring in spectacular fashion with a free-kick from the fringe of the 18-yard-box. His curling right footer left Izzo rooted to the turf which found the inside of the side netting.

0-2 City: Own Goal 16’
With the Mariners screaming for a penalty at the other end of the pitch after Connor Pain was brought down, City countered. The ball was attempted to be played out but it flew of Montgomery past Izzo.

1-2 Mariners: Fabio Ferreira 45’
Ferreira took matters into his own hands with a free-kick from about 30-yards-out. After the ball was laid off to him a right foot bullet that was bound for goal took a deflection and flew into Sorensen’s net.

2-2 Mariners: Own goal 47’
After conceding an own goal of their own, parity was restored just minutes into the second half when a cross flew off Ruon Tongyik to level the scores.

2-3 City: Fornaroli (p) 64’
A moment of madness saw Izzo shown red for taking down Fornaroli in the box who had an open goal in his sights. Necevski substituted on for the spot kick but had no chance at the firm strike by Fornaroli up the middle.

Paolo in the press

“I thought we were tremendous tonight even though we didn’t help the situation by conceding two goals from what were two of our own set pieces,” Okon said. “From that perspective it’s disappointing that we did that – it’s no surprise that on a few occasions this season we’ve come back from a goal or two behind and tonight it was a performance that warranted more but sometimes in football you don’t get it which is disappointing.

“I’m not sure what the difference is between the Izzo incident [penalty] and the incident where Tongyik clearly fouls Connor Pain. One he decides is a penalty and one is play on, so that’s disappointing.

“The goal came from an obvious error, one we shouldn’t make. Is that the reason why we lose the game? Even after that I think we still had some opportunities, we never gave up. There was that moment at the end where the ball ricocheted 10 times but just wouldn’t go in and then the Josh Bingham opportunity where he came on, in a move that we’ve worked on when Trent cut back.

“I probably would have strained my hammy running 60 metres to celebrate with them again tonight so maybe it was better that he didn’t score and I didn’t embarrass myself.

“I said to the players before the game, rewind 12 months to where this club was and look at where we are today. We had a good month in February and we are going to try and work as hard as we can to try and make March an even better month.

“That result doesn’t define our season, we’re not approaching every game looking at the ladder – if we can perform we’ve got a good chance of winning and we did that tonight. We will go to Sydney FC next Friday, the potential Champions and give them a game of football.

“I think we’ve matched up to every team this season, other than Wellington who were the only team we weren’t at the races in all the games we’ve played them. We were really looking forward to this game, we hoped for a different ending but I think if we don’t concede that third goal from that incident I thought we were really on top and dominated them.

“From where I am with my coach’s hat on – I look at where we started and where this team is now. Sure, we’ve had some bumpy moments but if I invited you here tonight for the first time this season you wouldn’t think we weren’t a top six side. That’s all we’ve ever wanted to do, is perform and give ourselves the best chance of winning games and we did that tonight so I’m proud of the players for their efforts but disappointed that they didn’t get a reward,” Okon said.

Central Coast Mariners: 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 7.Fabio FERREIRA (17.Josh BINGHAM 81’), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN (12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 74’), 13.Kwabena APPIAH (1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 63’), 16.Liam ROSE, 22.Jake McGING


Substitutes not used: 5.Harry ASCROFT, 14.Adam BERRY

Red card: Izzo 63’

Melbourne City FC: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 10.Anthony CACERES (9.Nicolas COLAZO, 85’), 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN (11.Bruce KAMAU 74’)

Subtitutes not used: 40.Yaren SOZER (gk), 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE

Yellow cards: Caceres 34’, Malik 45’ 

Sunday 5 March, 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford  
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City
Attendance: 5974
Referee: Adam Fielding