SCORING the opening goal in any football match is important, however it seems the first strike of tonight’s Hyundai A-League meeting between Melbourne Heart and Central Coast Mariners may prove especially decisive.
SCORING the opening goal in any football match is important, however it seems the first strike of tonight-s Hyundai A-League meeting between Melbourne Heart and Central Coast Mariners may prove especially decisive.
This season, the Mariners have scored the opening goal on nine occasions, and have subsequently gone on to win in each of those matches. All told, 27 of the Mariners- 34 points so far this campaign have been recorded having taken the lead.
While each 90 minutes of match action is different, Mariners attacker Daniel McBreen – included in the travelling squad for tonight-s match – would be one player keenly anticipating battling Melbourne Heart again. McBreen is the all-time leading goalscorer in head-to-head fixtures between the Mariners and Heart having scored three goals.
And while statistics can mean little in the grand scheme of things, Graham Arnold-s Mariners can perhaps gleam some motivation from the fact they have never been beaten by John van-t Schip-s side. In four encounters, the Yellow and Navy have won three times and drawn once. Undoubtedly, this is a run the wily mentor is keen to keep going as he searches for every psychological advantage possible over all of the Mariners Hyundai A-League rivals leading into the finals series.
Central Coast Mariners squad vs. Melbourne Heart:1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson, 8. Rostyn Griffiths, 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 12. Troy Hearfield, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Alex Wilkinson, 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 22. Mustafa Amini, 23. Adam Kwasnik *one to be omitted*
In: 4. Pedj Bojic (returns from suspension), 8. Rostyn Griffiths (returns from injury)
Out: 5. Brad Porter
Melbourne Heart squad vs. Central Coast Mariners: 1.Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 6.Matt Thompson (C), 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 9.Maycon, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 30.Sebastian Mattei (GK) *two to be omitted*
In: Simon Colosimo (returns from injury), David Williams (promoted)
Unavailable: Nick Kalmar (back – 4 weeks), Kliment Taseski (foot – 4 to 6 weeks), Fred (groin – 4 to 6 weeks), Wayne Srhoj (quad – 1 week)
Melbourne Heart vs. Central Coast Mariners
AAMI Stadium, Melbourne
Twitter: Join the conversation about Melbourne Heart against Central Coast Mariners on Twitter. The hashtag for tonight-s match is #HALmhccm