On Sunday evening Adelaide United were unable to break down the Central Coast Mariners defence, going down one-nil.
In a first half with little opportunities it was the Mariners first chance of the game that was the most threatening.
After a lapse in concentration the Mariners stripped Adelaide of the ball, sending it down the right wing before Sam Perre was able to find the head of captain Josh Bingham, just flying above the cross bar.
The Young Reds looked to play down the wings as they looked to spread Central Coasts tight knit defence which allowed little gaps in the middle.
And midway through the half Adelaide’s best chance came when Niko Apostolopoulos was able find a gap behind the Central Coast.
On the right wing, the defender whipped in a ball to the far post but was finger tipped away by Mariners Goal Keeper Adam Pearce.
Shortly after a bit of trickery by Antoni Trimboli just outside the left hand side of the box saw the Mariners defender nutmegged, but again the cut back was quickly cleared away.
Adelaide managed to hold the ball up for long periods of play as they looked to find the decisive pass, but to no avail.
Leaving the back open, the Central Coast waited to play on the counter, which left Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo to come off his line on multiple occasions.
In the second half the Central Coast again had the better of the chances as they looked to take the lead.
Early in the half Paul Izzo was left stranded as a looping through ball found Sam Perre who was able to flick the ball over the top of the keeper.
Taking another touch after the flick, it allowed Adelaide centre back Jordan Pudler to get a last ditch tackle in, clearing the danger.
Straight after that moment a turnover by Ruon Tongyik gave Mariners another look at the goal.
Striker, Bingham ran into the right hand side of the box before rifling the ball straight into the path of Izzo. If it weren’t for his extra touch he may have had an open look.
And in the 78th minute the goal came for the Central Coast after curled effort by Sam Perre.
The winger was able to manoeuvre his way into the box, before curling the ball into the top right corner.
Adelaide pushed for an equalizer in the last ten minutes of play, and in extra time this almost pulled off.
Quick feet by Nathan Konstandopoulos opened himself up inside the box, followed by a quick one-two between himself and substitute Dylan Smith, the shot went just wide of the target.
We didn’t stick to our style, we tried to attack with width, we knew they’d be tight and compact and shift over," said Goalkeeping coach Robert Matosevic.
“(In the first half) they were tight and compact and left a lot of space on the other wing but we were unable to switch it.
“We just tried to focus on our game style today.”