Mariners end AAMI Park hoodoo with hard-earned 1-0 victory

Central Coast Mariners recorded their first ever win against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park, with a 1-0 win on Sunday evening.

After inflicting only the second loss of Melbourne Victory’s season, the Mariners move to within three points of Isuzu UTE A-League leaders Wellington Phoenix.

Angel Torres’ wicked delivery from a free-kick forced Ryan Teague to turn the ball into his own goal in the 47th minute, the decisive moment of an eventful game (to say the least).

The game finished 10v9, as Roderick Miranda and Jordi Valadon were sent off for the hosts, and Mariners had Ronald Barcellos dismissed late in injury time.

Mark Jackson made four changes to his team, dealing with the one-game A-League suspensions of Christian Theoharous and Jacob Farrell, as well as managing the minutes of the squad following the short turnaround from Thursday night’s AFC Cup win. In came Nathan Paull, Bradley Tapp, Torres and Ryan Edmondson.

Clear cut chances were at a premium in a physical, battling first half but it was Daniel Arzani who had the game’s first real opening on 19 minutes, but he scuffed his shot wide.

Bruno Fornaroli then fired a free-kick way off target, before Arzani curled a shot well wide from outside the box, with Danny Vukovic going untroubled until after the half-hour mark.

At the other, Mikael Doka came close to scoring his third goal in a week with a stunning free-kick, denied by a flying save from Paul Izzo. The Brazilian was involved again moments later, combining neatly with Torres who whipped a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but nobody was there to provide the telling touch.

Our skipper was then called into action for the first time, smartly tipping Arzani’s curling free-kick over the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken just two minutes into the second half, as Teague could do nothing but turn the ball into his own net after a fabulous free-kick from Torres.

There was almost an instant second for the Mariners, as half-time substitute Alou Kuol hit the inside of the post after more great work from Doka.

The Brazilian went close with another free-kick on 67 minutes, this time curling just off target as he just couldn’t net the goal that his Player of the Match performance deserved.

The first red card of the game was shown to Roderick on 80 minutes, after a clumsy foul on Kuol earned him a second yellow card and Valadon joined his captain in the dressing room on 90 minutes. The youngster shown a straight red for a foul, again on Kuol.

Ronald Barcellos was also shown a straight red in added time, after catching Connor Chapman.

Victory threw everything at the Mariners in the final moments, as Izzo put himself in the box for a late free-kick but the Mariners broke and Josh Nisbet looked certain to score his first goal of the season.

He saw his first effort blocked by a defender on the line, before hitting the crossbar with the rebound. Thankfully Nisbet and the team could laugh about it after, as the Mariners saw out the game for a huge and historic three points.

An incredible effort just three days after playing 120 minutes of football against Macarthur in the AFC Cup, and the club’s first ever win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Jackson and the squad’s attention now shifts to next Saturday’s F3 Derby, on the road at Newcastle Jets.

Don’t forget Mariners Members, you can attend the game for free simply using your Membership pass at the gate at McDonald Jones Stadium. Supporter bus places are also on sale now.