The Central Coast Mariners have rounded out their season with a night to forget at AAMI Park, a 5-0 loss to Melbourne City.
Melbourne City FC 5 (Harrison 35’ & 55’, McGree 42’, Vidosic 50’, Najjarine 92’) Central Coast Mariners 0
The run down
After a promising start by the Mariners, it was City who went into the break with a half time lead thanks to two strikes in 10 minutes by Shayon Harrison & Riley McGree to round out the opening stanza.
It marked the end of a very quiet first half, where neither side boasted too many promising chances on goal.
Momentum continued with the home side in the second half who doubled their lead, scoring two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
Alen Stajcic offered game time to some of his youngsters in Peter Kekeris, Lewis Miller & Dylan Ruiz-Diaz who all came off the bench in the second half.
But City were too good at home, driving confidently into the finals series with a sensational stoppage time goal to Ramy Najjarine.
35’ HARRISON GOAL (1-0): A solo run along the byline from Tottenham loanee Shayon Harrison gave City the opener, finishing from a tight angle.
42’ MCGREE GOAL (2-0): McGree was on hand to emphatically volley home from close range, thanks to a pin-point Scott Jamieson cross.
50’ VIDOSIC GOAL (3-0): Vidosic put the finishing touches on a cross in from the left from Lachlan Wales.
55’ HARRISON GOAL (4-0): Harrison scored his second goal of the night from close range, thanks to Wales’ second assist of the night.
92’ NAIJARINE GOAL (5-0): A promising City build up was capped off by stunning finish from Najjarine to make it five.
Stajcic in the media
“We held them for 35 minutes and the game was quite sterile up until that point. A little bit of magic from young Harrison which changed the momentum of the game. We were disjointed at the back with so many positional changes back there, which gave them a couple of soft goals. They took them well with world class finishes but it was poor marking in the penalty box.
“City are good on the ball, they control it well and they deserved their win.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in the first round or the last round you’re a professional. It’s not an easy moment for the players, not an easy situation, but it’s where you see real characters stand up and really see the resilience of some.
“They [the players] are playing for contracts every week, not tonight. I’m not basing my judgement on tonight, I’m basing it on the last few months. Players want to come to our club, players want to stay at our club – we will pick up and be in a much stronger position next season.
“You always need to reflect and evaluate what the club needs. We need a better foundation, more stability and more depth. There hasn’t been a great amount of depth and you saw that tonight, with Kye Rowles out, the disjointed nature of the back four made it tough at times,” Stajcic said.
Central Coast Mariners: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK), 3. Jack CLISBY, 6. Tom HIARIEJ (33.Lewis MILLER 69’), 7. Andrew HOOLE (36.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ 56’), 13. Aiden O’NEILL (17.Peter KEKERIS 88’), 18. Matthew MILLER, 19. Matthew SIMON, 22. Jacob MELLING, 25. Jordan MURRAY, 28. Samuel GRAHAM
Substitutes not used: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK) & 29. Stephen MALLON
Yellow cards: Miller 72’, O’Neill 87’
Melbourne City FC squad: 42.James DELIANOV (GK), 3.Scott JAMIESON, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 8.Riley McGREE, 9.Shayon HARRISON, 10.Dario VIDOSIC (51.Idrus ABDULAHI 81’), 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS (21.Ramy NAJJARINE 73’), 19.Lachlan WALES, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN (34. Connor METCALFE 57’)
Subtitutes not used: 40.Majak MAWTH (GK) & 41.Mitchell GRAHAM
Friday, 26 April 2019
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne City FC vs. Central Coast Mariners