Adelaide United has lost 2-1 against Central Coast Mariners in Round 16 of the Hyundai A-League.
A goal from Awer Mabil wasn’t enough to seel the points for United, with late goals from Nick Fitzgerald and Josh Rose sending the Reds home empty-handed.
With the match being played under sublime conditions at Central Coast Stadium, United were quick to stamp their authority – Bruce Djite sending an early warning sign to Mariners goalkeeper, Liam Reddy, with a determined closing down of the home side’s No. 12.
This set the tone for the Reds’ opening stanza, Jimmy Jeggo, Pablo Sanchez, and Isaias quickly snapping at the heels of the Mariners midfielders. But the hosts did well to squeeze space in the middle of the park and restrict United’s movement on occasion.
In a first half that was shy on clear-cut chances, the Mariners had one of the best on 25 minutes through Nick Fitzgerald, but Eugene Galekovic was equal to the task and tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.
But just five minutes later, United hit the front through an Awer Mabil deflected effort the flew past Reddy and into the net. The chance came about when Mabil found space outside the box and drove a low effort towards the bottom right corner, which was parried wide by Reddy. However, a persistent Sergio Cirio kept the ball alive and put the ball back into the box. With the Mariners unable to clear the danger, the ball fell to Mabil who struck a forceful effort towards goal.
The second half was much of the same with chances few and far between. But on the hour mark the Reds’ newest signing, Miguel Palanca, was introduced into the frame after replacing Djite who seemingly suffered a knock to his ankle.
In the 76th minute, intelligent interplay between Palanca and Pablo Sanchez ended with a great effort by the latter towards goal, but it was only just swatted away by Reddy.
Two minutes later the Mariners were level when Michael Marrone was deemed to have handled the ball in the box. Whilst Eugene Galekovic was able to stop the initial penalty, Fitzgerald was quick to follow up and converted. Come the 84th minute, Josh Rose put the Mariners in front with a neat finish.
Following the match, Reds’ coach, Josep Gombau said the Reds struggled to finish out the match at their top level, allowing the Mariners to get the win.
“We drop a little bit in the last 20-25 minutes and we paid the price. It’s not the players mentally don’t want to do things just physically,” the Spaniard said.
“I’m satisfied with the way we played, with movements that we did. We had missing players and had other players in other positions and doing well.
“We didn’t create many chances this is true but not in any moment did we feel we didn’t have control of the game.
“We felt we were doing the game in our way and the way we wanted. We have to accept this part of the game and improve the mistakes that we made.”
Adelaide United next host Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium in Round 17 of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season on Sunday 15 February 2015. Kick off is at 4.30pm ACDT. Click here to purchase tickets.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Hyundai A-League Season 2014/15 – Round 16
Adelaide United 1 (Mabil 29’)
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Fitzgerald 79’, Rose 84’)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast Mariners: Reddy, Roux, Bosnar, Poscoliero, J. Rose, Hutchinson, Montgomery (L. Rose 69’), Fitzgerald (Major 87’), Caceres (Kalik 60’), Duke, Simon
Adelaide United: Galekovic, Marrone, Malik, Elrich, Goodwin, Isaias, Sanchez, Jeggo, Mabil (Kamau 72’), Cirio, Djite (Palanca 61’)
Scorers: Mabil 29’, Fitzgerald 79’, J. Rose 83’
Red cards: none
Yellow cards: Simon 45’