The Central Coast Mariners have secured a historic first victory in the AFC Cup last night, defeating Filipino side Stallion Laguna 9-1 at Our Paradise.
In Mark Jackson’s first game in charge records tumbled, securing the largest ever victory for the club while also scoring the most goals in a single match.
Marco Tulio grabbed his first Mariners hat-trick in a dominate display, while Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored a brace. The other goal scorers included Alou Kuol, Josh Nisbet, Angel Torres and Brian Kaltak.
The Mariners got on the scoresheet in just the sixth minute, with Wenzel-Halls scoring his first ever Central Coast goal at Industree Group Stadium. The striker finding a cutback from Torres, making no mistake from directly in front to give us a 1-0 lead.
20 minutes later Tulio had his first, connecting with fellow Brazilian Doka who grabbed the assist. The right back whipping the ball in for the forward to steer goal bound, doubling our lead.
Against the run of play the away team did get on the board through Juan Trujillo, with the midfielder directing the ball goalward off a corner. The goal drawing it back to 2-1 in the 31st minute, as the rain continued to pelt the pitch and players.
On the stroke of halftime Tulio had his double, with Torres playing in a beautiful curling cross to find the unmarked Brazilian. Last season’s Player’s Player made no mistake, diving feet first to touch the ball home and give us a 3-1 lead heading into the break.
It took just 11 minutes in the second period for the goals to continue to pour in, with Wenzel-Halls next on the scoresheet for his second. Torres’ shot blocked by the goalkeeper, falling to the striker who passed it in for our fourth.
After an incredible debut season with the club, Brian Kaltak got his first goal in Mariners colours, scoring off a poacher’s finish. A lovely set play corner saw Tulio find Kaltak just in front of goal, with the centre back grabbing the team’s fifth in the 63rd minute.
Coming off the bench Alou Kuol got in on the fun, with Nathan Paull playing an inch perfect long ball through the lines to find the striker.
Kuol calm and composed as he put it past the onrushing keeper 20 yards out, finding the bottom right corner to take the score to 6-1 in the 70th minute.
After already having two assists, Angel Torres got his first for the club after some incredible solo play. The Colombian with some silky footwork before putting the ball onto his left, slotting it into the top left corner to extend our lead to six.
After scoring twice last season, Nisbet got his first of the campaign next, with Jacob Farrell doing well to cut the ball back extremely close to the baseline.
The midfielder running onto it and connecting 12 yards out, smacking it into the back of the net in the 85th to make it 8-1.
Tulio grabbed his hat-trick with our final goal of the game, again being in the perfect spot after Christian Theoharous’ shot was palmed out by the goalkeeper. The Brazilian making no mistake, his shot rocketing off the cross bar and over the line in the 91st minute.
The final score ending 9-1 on a wet and windy Gosford night, securing the first three points of our AFC Cup campaign.
The match also marking a special moment for Brad Tapp, with the young midfielder playing his first minutes in over a year after an ACL injury.
The Mariners will next travel to Adelaide on October 20th for our first A-League match of the season, before returning home to play host to Bali United on October 26th.
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