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Santalab saves Wanderers’ blushes

Western Sydney Wanderers have defeated Central Coast Mariners 2-1 on Saturday night in Gosford.

Mark Bridge and a late goal by Brendon Santalab were enough for the visitors, while Fabio Ferreira scored the sole goal for the hosts, who went down to ten men following a red card to their captain Nick Montgomery.

Former Liverpool player Luis Garcia made his much anticipated Mariners debut, while Federico Piovaccari did not make the Wanderers squad.

Romeo Castelen had the first major chance of the match in the 9th minute, however his header went just wide.

Mark Bridge opened the scoring a minute later, after he pounced on an error by Storm Roux and calmly slotted his shot past the Mariners keeper. Bridge scored his 6th goal of the season.

In the 17th minute, Dario Vidosic’s header hit the cross bar, nearly making it two goals for the away side.

Mitch Austin almost brought one back for the Mariners in the 44th minute, however Andrew Redmayne had it covered.

Castelen had the first real chance of the second half in the 50th, however he blasted his shot from outside the box over the crossbar.

From the resulting corner, Dario Vidosic fired his header wide, which also left him sore from an accidental head clash.

The home fans erupted in the 58th minute as Mariners manager Tony Walmsley brought Luis Garcia onto the park to replace Francesco Stella.

Garcia immediately had an impact, as his shot across his body in the 64th minute made it on target.

However, Fabio Ferreira brought one back for the Mariners in the 66th minute, who rebounded from an Andrew Redmayne save. The chance was largely due to Garcia, who provided a perfectly weighted pass to Mitch Austin.

Ferreira nearly made it two in the 74th minute, however Redmayne provided a crucial save to deny the chance.

The Mariners were left a man down in the 79th minute, after captain Nick Montgomery received a straight red card for his dangerous challenge on Golgol Mebrahtu.

Mitch Nichols had a good chance to take the lead again 82nd minute, however he blasted his shot into the arms of Mariners goalkeeper Paul Izzo.

The Wanderers found the lead in the 86th minute through Brendon Santalab, who tapped in after Mariners goalkeeper Izzo put the ball back into play from his save. The late goal sent the large contingent of Wanderers fans into raptures.

The Wanderers almost scored again in the 92nd minute through Mark Bridge following some well worked play, however Izzo saved.

The win sends the Wanderers to the top of the table ahead of their clash with Melbourne City next Friday night in Parramatta, while the Mariners travel to Christchurch next Saturday to face the Wellington Phoenix.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Mark Bridge (Western Sydney)
2 Mitch Austin (Central Coast)
1 Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Western Sydney)

About the author

avatarTim is a journalism student with a love for the game. He doesn't mind Sydney FC, Panathinaikos and Arsenal.

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