Mariners fightback to take important into home second leg

Central Coast Mariners came from 1-0 down to beat Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium, thanks to goals from Josh Nisbet and Mikael Doka either side of half time.

Sydney ended the game with nine men after Jack Rodwell and Corey Hollman were both dismissed in the second half, and will miss next week’s second leg at Our Paradise.


First half ⚖️

Mark Jackson made one change to the starting team from Monday morning’s AFC Cup Final victory, Miguel Di Pizio missed out after a late fitness test. Back came Storm Roux into the starting eleven and youngster Bailey Brandtman returned to the bench.

It was a bright start from the Mariners who tested Andrew Redmayne early on with Christian Theoharous’ powerful effort needing to be tipped away. The Sydney stopper was quick off his line minutes later to deny our number seven again.

Sydney responded but somewhat still against the run of play, took the lead as Joel King converted at the back post, Max Burgess’ shot deflecting into the path of the Sydney left back whose shot then deflected past Vukovic.

The Mariners went in search of an equaliser, Nisbet only able to head straight at Redmayne after a nice move from the Mariners on 43 minutes, but he would find the finishing touch minutes later right on half time.

Mikeal Doka’s strike slipped out of the clutches of Redmaybe on a wet surface at Allianz, Nisbet on hand to coolly convert from close range.

Second half 🟥

A dramatic second half followed, the Mariners starting brightly with Doka seeing a shot blocked from inside the box within the first minute.

The Mariners were awarded a penalty on 53 minutes, a brilliant counter attack ended with Theoharous being tripped inside the box. Doka stepped up and kept his cool, burying into the bottom corner.

Sydney had Rodwell sent off on the hour mark, he caught Theoharous with a two-footed challenge and an initial yellow card was turned a red after a VAR check.

Sydney then thought they had equalised on 70 minutes, a dangerous delivery from Robert Mak was kept alive by Sydney and Rhyan Grant headed home but the goal was disallowed after Hayden Matthews was offside in the build up.

Ten became nine for Sydney on 81 minutes as another threatening break from the Mariners was halted by Hollman’s foul on Ronald Barcellos, the Olyroos midfielder shown a second yellow card for the offence.

The Mariners pushed for a third, but will be more than content with taking a 2-1 lead back to Gosford what promises to be a massive second leg at Our Paradise next Saturday.