Adelaide United thump Mariners and charge for title

A come-from-behind win saw Adelaide United provisionally claim second spot on the ladder before the conclusion of the round.

 

Credit: Adelaide United FC

Credit: Adelaide United FC

 

The score finished 4-2, with Isaias, Stefan Mauk, Bruce Djite and Pablo Sanchez on target for Adelaide, and Roy O’Donovan scoring a brace for the Central Coast Mariners.

 

The latter looked lively in the first half, and it was the Mariner’s striker who initially broke the deadlock.

 

Playing himself down the right wing, the no.9 scored past Eugene Galekovic’s near post after going central in the offensive box.

 

Adelaide would respond in a manner Reds fans would only imagine, as Isaias beat Mariner’s goalkeeper Paul Izzo from outside the box with a bouncing effort.

 

The levelling strike was commemorated with an emotional celebration; Isaias kissing a United kit in memory of Remo Paris’ passing.

 

The thunderbolt would spring the Reds into action, as six minutes later Mauk skipped past three defenders and scored to the right hand side of the box.

 

Coach Guillermo Amor would later praise the former Melbourne City midfielder who has proven to be an inspired acquisition.

 

“His performance is fantastic in games, in training, his attitude performance… he works a lot always, and he’s a very good player.

 

“We are very happy with him.”

 

United’s centre-forward Djite would also get on the scoresheet three minutes later, assisted by Craig Goodwin before the former Socceroo rifled it into the roof of the net.

 

The goal matched record holder Travis Dodd’s 30 league goals for the club.

 

The first half concluded with a Luis Garcia free-kick that summed up the majority of the Mariner’s half; easily blocked by a capable United wall.

 

The second half continued the trend, though Adelaide failed to find the back of the next for a large portion of the half.

 

The closest efforts by Djite and Garcia both missed the upright, until Pablo Sanchez was brought down in the box and awarded a penalty.

 

The former CD Lugo forward calmly slotted the ball to the left hand side of the goal.

 

The Mariners responded minutes later, O’Donovan bringing the ball down on his chest and volleying on the turn to provide a spectacular second for the visitors.

 

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Credit: Getty Images

 

Mariners coach Tony Walmsley later praising O’Donovan’s effort.

 

“Definitely up there [for goal of the season.]

 

“We know Roy’s pedigree, we see him in training every day, he’s had a tough season: he had eight weeks out.

 

“He’s showing signs that in his second season for us, that with the right people giving him the right service he’s going to be a handful for any defence.”

 

However it would be the Reds walking away with the three points at the final whistle after a solid 90 minutes.

 

Red’s coach Guillermo Amor praised the resolve of his team in fighting back after going down early.

 

“In this moment when the end of the season [is approaching] it is very important to win games and points; points are very important.

 

“Central Coast play here without pressure… They lose, it’s no problem.

 

“And this always is a different and difficult situation.”

 

Meanwhile, Walmsley has been left to rue a lack of leadership ahead of a daunting clash with Western Sydney Wanderers next week.

 

Going down by four strikes, Central Coast Mariners have succumbed the most goals in a regular season, with 61.

 

This surpasses the previous record set by the now defunct North Queensland Fury in 2010-2011 (60.)

 

“This team has copped too many goals… they’re young, the older players need to stand up as well,” Walmsley said.

 

“The experiences they’ve had this year will make them better and stronger.”

 

However, Walmsley revealed the Mariners are in the process of rebuilding for next season.

 

“[There’s] a fairly robust recruitment charter going on at the moment, so we’re actively seeing four players with the more experience and the right leadership qualities.

 

“We’ll see a big improvement from them next season with the players inserted into the right areas.”

 

Full Time: Adelaide United 4 – Central Coast Mariners 2

 

Attendance 10,269

 

Written by Daniel Kuberek @kuubeey

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