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Sydney strikers keep Mariners winless on the road

Sydney FC came from behind to beat a positive Central Coast Mariners 4-2 in an entertaining affair at Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Despite coming into the match on the back of a disappointing mid-week loss in the Asian Champions League qualifiers, it was the visitors that had the first clear chance when a perfectly-weighted long ball in the 9th minute put Isaka Cernak through on goal, only for Vedran Janjetovic to get out early and push the ball away from the midfielder’s feet.

Sydney quickly reacted and in their first effort of note they opened the scoring when Marc Janko powerfully headed Milos Dimitrijevic’s whipped corner past Liam Reddy in the 14th minute.

The Mariners responded positively and came close to equalising two minutes later when Roux’s teasing cross found Cernak up at the far post, only for Janjetovic to again deny the visitors.

It started a period of dominance for the Mariners who again found themselves in front of goal when Anthony Caceres played a beautiful ball through to Ferreira but a returning Jacques Faty showed his strength to put enough physical pressure on the Central Coast player to close down the chance.

Ferreira was enjoying the space behind the Sydney defence, and the equaliser looked imminent when he teed up Fitzgerald. However, the stretching forward couldn’t make clear connection with the ball and failed to capitalise on the golden opportunity.

The hosts went close to doubling their advantage against the run of play when Dimitrijevic’s free-kick forced Reddy to make a diving save.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sat Feb 21, 2015, 5:00 PMStadium Allianz StadiumAttendance 14,239Referee Matthew Conger


Goal14′ M.JankoYellow Card63′ M.JankoGoal68′ R.GrantGoal81′ S.SmeltzGoal90′ M.Janko

But the Mariners had one final attempt before half time and were rewarded for their persistence as Ferreira found his way through the Sydney defence and nipped past an onrushing Faty to coolly scoop over Janjetovic to make it 1-1 at the break.

The Sky Blues were hoping to improve rapidly after the break and it did look more positive for the hosts when Janko headed over from close range in the 50th minute. But the visitors picked up where they left off in the first half and went close to gaining the advantage when Ferreira was put through one-on-one with Janjetovic, only to shoot straight at the Sydney ‘keeper.

Yet the Mariners were soon ahead when Cernak weaved his way through three Sydney player’s before sliding the ball to Ferreira. The former Adelaide man steadied himself and fired into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.

Graham Arnold had clearly seen enough, sending on Naumoff and Grant for Calver and Tavaras, and the former immediately added teeth to the attack as his deflected effort flew just over the bar.

But it was Grant who would find the equaliser in the 68th minute as he let fly from Brosque’s lay off, sending his long-range strike rocketing into the back of the net.

And on 81 minutes, Sydney would have the lead when super sub Shane Smeltz calmly cut past several Mariners defenders before finishing with aplomb after being set up by a neat chest pass from Janko.

The Mariners almost found a late equaliser when an onrushing Roux looked set to despatch Major’s teasing ball across the box, only to be denied by a sliding Gersbach.

However, this was Sydney’s day, as Gersbach raced from defence to attack in the dying seconds and laid a perfect ball for Janko in the six-yard box to make it 4-2 and secure all three points.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Fabio Ferreira (Central Coast Mariners)
2 Terry Antonis (Sydney FC)
1 Marc Janko (Sydney FC)
Youth Terry Antonis (Sydney FC)

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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