Adelaide United powered back from a goal down at half-time to defeat Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in Gosford on Sunday night.
In a game delayed four hours from its original 3pm kick off due to the heat, it was the Mariners who racked up the fouls in a physical opening stanza,
And it was a brilliant Fabio Ferreria goal that had the Mariners up 1-0 at the break and looking confident.
Yet in their fourth game in 14 days, the Reds turned up the heat with three second half goals to stun the home side and push Gui Amor's side into third spot on the ladder.
31’ 1-0 Fabio Ferreira: Central Coast
On the halfway line, the winger was put through down the right and with the Reds’ high line exposed he arrowed in on the goal before calmly nutmegging Eugene Galekovic for his sixth of the season (with his trademark bow and arrow celebration).
53’ 1-1 Isaias: Adelaide United
Bent his set-piece past the wall and Paul Izzo wasn't quick enough and couldn’t get across to stop it.
65’ 1-2 Bruce Djite Adelaide United
McGowan won the headed contest from a corner and Djite was there to poke it home in front of Izzo, despite a hint of offside.
90' 1-3 Stefan Mauk Adelaide United
Terrific lead up work from Craig Goodwin and Mauk takes his time and smashes it home to put the contest beyond the Mariners.
92' 2-3 Josh Bingham Central Coast
The ball was cleared and the Mariners striker's shot was spilled by Eugene Galekovic proving a late consolation for the home side.
Stella's effort could've salvaged a point for the Marineres but with space and time his power shot sailed over the bar in stoppage time.
Luis Garcia, worryingly, took a knock in the first half. And Mariners’ Michael Neill limped off in the second half, as did Carrusca for the Reds.
Carrusca’s inventive flick-up free kick. Caught the Mariners unawares. And Mitch Austin’s pace and power had the fans off their feet in the first half.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Starting Luis Garcia didn't work on this occasion. Is he better as an impact player? That's the question.
THE FINAL WORD
The Reds’ incredible run continues and this result showed they have some character after going down 1-0 in the heat in Gosford at half-time.
They’ll enjoy a good week of recovery ahead of a blockbuster clash with Victory on Friday night.
The Mariners continue to show defensive frailties while Luis Garcia didn’t have much impact in a game that rarely reached the heights in the heat.
Central Coast Mariners (4-4-2): Izzo (GK); Roux, McGing, Poscoliero, J Rose; Montgomery, L Rose (Buhagiar 81'), Garcia (Bingham (58’) Neill (Stella 63’); Ferreira, Austin.
Subs: Bray (GK), Buhagiar, McDonald, Stella, Bingham.
Adelaide United (4-3-3): Galekovic (GK); Marrone, McGowan, Elsey, Goodwin; Mells, Isaias, Carrusca (Mauk 69’) Kamau (Sanchez 77’) Djite, Cirio (Dugandzic 87')
Subs: Hall (GK), Mauk, Sanchez, Warland, Dugandzic.
Red cards: nil
Central Coast: Poscoliero
Adelaide: McGowan, Elsey
Conditions: 25 degrees, clear
Attendance: 5096 @ Gosford Stadium