A stunning second half comeback – and a Connor Pain howitzer – has inspired Central Coast Mariners to their first win of the season, beating Adelaide United 2-1 on Sunday.
A Sergi Guardiola penalty had the Reds 1-0 up at the break at Coopers Stadium before the Mariners launched their fightback.
First Roy O’Donovan levelled things up two minutes into the second half before Pain produced an absolute screamer just before the hour mark to complete the turnaround.
Despite their best efforts – and the return of playmaker Marcelo Carrusca for the last 30 minutes – Adelaide couldn’t find an equaliser as they slumped to a fourth straight defeat in the Hyundai A-League.
But it was delight for Paul Okon and the Mariners as the club picked up their first victory in 281 days since a win over Wellington in round 17 last season.
1-0 Adelaide: Sergi Guardiola, 27’
Tarek Elrich’s right-wing cross looked to tee up Guardiola only for the striker to be brought down in the box by a mis-timed sliding challenge from Storm Roux for a penalty. The Spaniard sent Paul Izzo the wrong way, calmly placing the ball into the bottom right corner.
1-1 Mariners: Roy O’Donovan, 47’
A turnover in midfield allowed Connor Pain to win the ball and he produced a peach of a pass over the top of the defence to send O’Donovan through one-on-one. And the Irishman did the rest, lobbing it over Eugene Galekovic and into the net.
1-2 Mariners: Connor Pain, 57’
A cross from the right made its way to Pain just outside the box. He cut back inside onto his right foot and unleashed a rocket of a shot which whistled into the top corner. An absolute ripper!
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