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Melbourne Victory suffered a 3-2 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League on Monday.

This report courtesy Dejan Kalinic

Victory 2-3 Mariners

Marco Rojas twice gave Victory the lead at Jubilee Stadium, where Dylan Fox and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz brought the Mariners level on both occasions.

Ruiz-Diaz then found the winner in the 89th minute as Victory fell to a fifth straight loss.

A pair of Victory teenagers almost combined for the opener in the ninth minute.

Birkan Kirdar played in Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, who used his pace before his low shot was saved by Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.

Good defending from Giancarlo Gallifuoco helped stop a Mariners attack before Acton dived to push away Matt Simon's header in the 18th minute.

Acton was called into action again three minutes later, palming away Simon's powerful free-kick from the edge of the area.

Victory took the lead through Rojas' third goal of the Hyundai A-League season in the 22nd minute.

Kirdar's wonderful pass led to confusion in the Mariners' defence, Birighitti unable to clear and Rojas putting away a simple opener.

Acton made another great save on the half-hour mark, denying Simon from point-blank range after a Jack Clisby cross before the Mariners striker glanced a header wide.

Elvis Kamsoba and Rojas almost combined for a second for Victory before Mariners attacker Samuel Silvera struck the post on the stroke of half-time.

Central Coast equalised three minutes into the second half, Fox scrambling in from close range after a set-piece.

Victory wasted a great opportunity in the 56th minute, Gallifuoco heading a Rojas set-piece wide as the visitor looked to restore its lead.

Acton continued his good performance with another fantastic save, getting down low to keep out a Fox header, and that stop would be crucial as Rojas put Victory back ahead.

After receiving a pass from Josh Hope, Rojas got in behind down the left before beating a defender inside and finding the bottom corner.

The Mariners equalised with five minutes remaining, Ruiz-Diaz finishing powerfully after a pass from Tommy Oar.

Ruiz-Diaz found a winner for Central Coast, finishing in a one-on-one in the 89th minute after being played through by Milan Djuric.

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Late equaliser denies Mariners home win

A late Western Sydney equaliser denied the Mariners three points on Monday night after a strong performance from Alen Stajcic’s side.

Matt Simon was brought back into the starting side along with Tommy Oar and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz, with the youngster making his first Hyundai A-League start.

The game started at a strong pace in the wet conditions and Tate Russell forced a fingertip save out of Mark Birighitti early on and Jordan O’Doherty was booked as he hauled down Sam Silver on a counter-attack.

Mitchell Duke was lucky to escape a red card as he went through the legs of Ziggy Gordon 10 minutes before half-time but was only sanctioned with a yellow, and Mo Adam hit the crossbar in the shadows of the break.

There were big shouts for a penalty 12 minutes into the second half when he appeared to be shoved to the ground racing towards goal but the appeals were waved away, however it was just two minutes later when the Mariners took the lead.

Tommy Oar made ground down the left and provided a beautiful switch ball to Matt Simon on the far side of the area, and he struck a first time pass back across goal that Milan Duric swept into the goal to put the home side ahead.

Stajcic’s men pushed on after the goal too, and chances opened up on the break but the Mariners were unable to kill off the game with the Wanderers struggling.

The introductions of Simon Cox and Kwame Yeboah helped the Wanderers work their way back into the game and as the half wore on they pinned the Mariners deeper into their half.

And the pressure told in the dying minutes, as Duke’s deflected cross was reached by Cox who headed home past Birighitti to give the visitors a share of the points.

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The 50th F3 Derby ended in a goalless stalemate on Friday night as the Mariners and Jets could not be separated at Central Coast Stadium.

Spoils shared as 50th F3 Derby ends goalless

There were chances at both ends, particularly as the game wound down but neither side could find a way through on the night.

Carl Robinson named an unchanged line-up from the side that beat Sydney during the week, while Alen Stajcic brought Alou Kuol into the XI to make his first ever Hyundai A-League start.

The Jets started strongly and Ziggy Gordon was forced into a big tackle after 20 minutes to break down an attack, before Sam Silvera created an opportunity down the other end, stealing the ball and feeding Kuol who lost out in a battle with Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Gordon again was called upon, this time to deny Nick Fitzgerald a simple finish at the back post, and Silvera caused problems again when he danced through the Jets defence before firing straight at Lewis Italiano.

Tommy Oar came on for the second half for Daniel DeSilva and Josh Nisbet replaced Jacob Melling shortly before the interval for Stajcic’s side and the Mariners began to turn the tide of the game through the second stanza.

Milan Djuric fired over early in the half as the ball dropped to him from a corner and his side enjoyed more threatening spells of possession as the half progressed.

The hosts nullified the threat of the Jets down the right that they had enjoyed through the first half, and a strong press created trouble at the back for the visitors as the game wore on.

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz and Jair were also introduced to the game as the Mariners pushed for a winner, but neither side was able to break through.

Mark Birighitti pulled off a stunning close range stop from Kosta Petratos to keep scores level with 10 minutes to play, and that is how the game would end as both sides hung on through four minutes of stoppage time.

The Mariners now host Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday at Central Coast Stadium!

Tickets are on sale now.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

A first half goal from Dane Ingham proved the difference at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night, as the Mariners fell to a 1-0 defeat against Perth in their first game of the Hyundai A-League restart.

Perth took the lead through Ingham’s 32nd minute curler as they enjoyed the ascendancy in the first half, but the Mariners did well to get back on top in the second half as they pushed for an equaliser.

Jacob Melling and Dylan Fox both started in a new look side, with a dangerous bench at Alen Stajcic’s disposal and the Mariners wore black armbands following the death of Andre Gumprecht’s wife, Carina.

Jacob Melling fired wide and Bruno Fornaroli looked to cause trouble but neither side troubled their opponent’s goalkeeper until Ingam’s goal just after the half hour mark.

Neil Kilkenny played a slide rule ball through to Ingham as he came in from the wing, and the 21-year old wasted no time taking a touch and firing across Mark Birighitti to give Perth the lead.

Ivan Franjic and then Kristian Popovic were both carded for cynical fouls as the game approached half time, but the scoreboard was not troubled further as the teams went into the changerooms.

An early corner for the Mariners proved dangerous but the ball didn’t sit right for Kye Rowles, before Birighitti and then Liam Reddy were forced into saves at either end.

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz and Josh Nisbet were introduced by Stajcic after 56 minutes for Melling and Daniel DeSilva, and Ruiz-Diaz’s curling cross minutes later was just out of reach of Jordan Murray.

With 25 minutes left to play Murray leapt into the air to contest an aerial ball with Alex Grant and landed heavily after the collision, laying on the ground before being stretchered from the field.

Staj confirmed post-match a dislocated shoulder for the forward, and he was replaced in a double substation as Matt Simon and Milan Duric replaced him and Jack Clisby.

The Mariners pushed through the final 20 minutes with a number of chances created and Alou Kuol created headaches for Perth after his introduction, but they couldn’t break down a Perth side who were content to resolutely defend through the final stanza.

Stajic and the team will now turn attentions to a big weekend coming up, with Friday’s F3 Derby followed quickly by a clash with Western Sydney Wanderers on the Monday.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners confirmed on Monday afternoon that fans will be able to attend Saturday’s clash against Perth Glory at Central Coast Stadium.

With a capped capacity of 4,500 in line with government regulations, Mariners Members will be given an exclusive redemption period ahead of a general public release.

Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said it marked an exciting point, and said everyone at the club was looking forward to the return of matches and crowds.

“Our Members have been so important for us and so supportive during this time, and it’s fantastic that they can attend our first match back,” he said.

“We’ve worked with the stadium and the league to ensure that our fans can attend safely and enjoy live football once again, and we’re looking forward to that happening on Saturday.”

“I would also like to thank Perth, who agreed to us opening the game to our Members despite it being their home game.”

The match will kick off at 5pm at Central Coast Stadium, following the restart of the Hyundai A-League season the night before.

More information on ticketing can be found here.


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