Central Coast Mariners were made to pay for some wasteful finishing and lacklustre defending by Adelaide United on Saturday, with Josep Gombau’s charges accounting for Phil Moss’ men 4-0 at Coopers Stadium.
Goals from Bruce Djite and Fabio Ferreira in the first half combined with strikes from Sergio Cirio and Jeronimo Neumann in the second stanza ensured the Reds recorded a comprehensive home win.
The Mariners had a number of early opportunities to gain the upper hand in the clash in the city of churches, however wayward finishing from Trent Sainsbury and Daniel McBreen let Adelaide off the hook.
In just the seventh minute Marcos Flores and Michael McGlinchey combined well to open an opportunity on the volley for Sainsbury. The young defender shanked his shot however the ball fell fortuitously for McBreen. From close range McBreen blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Adelaide took the lead 25 minutes into the encounter. Spaniard Cirio crossed from the left and Djite showed his smarts to sneak infront of Marcel Seip before deftly flicking the ball beyond Liam Reddy.
The Reds doubled their advantage six minutes before the interval as Ferreira fired home on the angle. After winning the ball in midfield Adelaide released the Portuguese attacker whose shot Reddy got a hand to, but couldn’t prevent from nestling in the back of the net.
Last season’s Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner McBreen had a superb opportunity to reduce the deficit just before half time, however despite being one-on-one with Eugene Galekovic the former Shanghai SIPG loanee couldn’t force the sometime Socceroo custodian into a save as he pushed his effort wide.
Nine minutes after the interval the Reds scored their third of the afternoon through enterprising attacker Cirio. After Galekovic pumped the ball down field, Mariners stopper Reddy looked to marshall the ball over the goal line. Cirio hassled Reddy and managed to win possession right on the line. With Reddy stranded Cirio dribbled the ball into the back of the net.
Fox Sports replays later showed that the whole ball had indeed crossed the whole of the line, however with the action happening in a split second and on the opposite side to the assistant referee, few could immediately argue with the decision made in the 54th minute of play.
Matt Simon and Mile Sterjovski were introduced into the match with half an hour remaining as Moss shifted his system in an attempt to get back in the game. Simon nearly made an instant impact on proceedings as he collected the ball before sending a superb low cross towards McGlinchey. However just as the crafty Kiwi was about to strike Reds defender Tarek Elrich slid in to thwart the danger.Twelve minutes before full time McGlinchey advanced down the left before missing the target on the angle.
The Mariners were made to pay for their disappointing finishing once more as referee Ben Williams’ final whistle approached.
Argentine Neumann slid a clinical shot around Reddy and into the net to round out the scoring.
Following the game Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Moss made no excuses for his team’s defeat, however was adamant that there were indeed positives to take from the imperfect performance.
“I’m certainly not going to blame anyone for the loss today,” Moss said. “We need to improve in some key areas and we will.”
“I am very positive about the number of chances we created on what was a very off day for us. But we need to respect possession a lot more, and today I thought we weren’t that great in the fifty-fifty challenges that help build momentum.”
“There have been massive changes at the Club in recent weeks and one thing that probably suffers as a result is consistency. [But] we are working hard together as a playing and coaching staff to find our rhythm and consistency and we’ll continue to do that. We will stick together as always.”
Central Coast Mariners will play its next fixture on Thursday 19 December when the Club hosts its 2013/14 community match against Wellington Phoenix at North Sydney Oval. Kick-off at the iconic venue against the ‘Nix is at 7:30pm, and Moss believes the short turnaround ought to benefit his team.
“When you fall off a horse it’s all about getting back on as quickly as possible, so we’re happy that we’ve got the opportunity to put in an improved performance as early as Thursday as we aim to consolidate our position in the top six.”
Tickets for the first ever Hyundai A-League game at North Sydney Oval are available from www.Proticket.com.au.
Adelaide United FC 4 (Djite 25′, Ferreira 39′, Cirio 54′, Neumann 90′)
Central Coast Mariners FC 0
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (17. Anthony CACERES 81’), 9. Mitchell DUKE (21. Mile STERJOVSKI 59’), 10. Marcos FLORES (19. Matt SIMON 59’), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY
Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS
Yellow cards: Flores, Hutchinson, McBreen, Rose
Red cards: Nil
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (Gk), 4. Jon MCKAIN, 5. Osama MALIK, 8. ISAIAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA (19. Jake BARKER-DAISH 82’), 11. Bruce DJITE (25. Ryan KITTO 75’), 13. Steven LUSTICA, 18. Michael ZULLO, 21. Tarek ELRICH, 22. Fabio FERREIRA (7. Jeronimo NEUMANN 46’)
Substitutes not used: 30. John HALL (Gk), 3. Nigel BOOGAARD
Yellow cards: Isaias, Zullo
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Ben WILLIAMS