Mariners on track for grand final after punishing nine-man Sydney FC

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Mariners on track for grand final after punishing nine-man Sydney FC

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Thank you and good night

I’ve got to head downstairs to talk to some players and hear what the two coaches have to say after that.

Thanks to you, dear reader, for joining our live coverage tonight. It’s been a pleasure, and hope to see you here next week.

And that’s it. Mariners win!

Referee Ben Abraham has just blown for full-time. That’s all she wrote, folks.

What a heroic performance by the Mariners. They got off a plane from Oman late on Tuesday night, were forced to front up to play a semi-final three days later, and have turned over the only team who’ve beaten them in any competition since November. And on their own home deck.

It leaves Sydney FC with a mountain to climb next Saturday in Gosford. Not only do they have a 2-1 lead to chase down in front of a probable packed house at Industree Group Stadium, but they’ll be without Jack Rodwell and Corey Hollman after their red cards tonight - in addition to injured star Joe Lolley who is out for the season.

That keeps the Mariners’ treble dream alive, which is good news for the neutrals, too. And if they can seal this in the second leg, the grand final will be in Gosford, too.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, full time

It’s hosing down

We’re in the final few minutes here and while it’s been a wet night overall, it has not been wetter than what it is right now. The rain is fairly heavy, and on the evidence we’ve seen so far, that only enhances the possibility of late chaos of some description.

Well done to the 13,813 in the stands who have braved the weather - they’ve been treated to an exciting contest. And while those who stayed at home are probably dry and warm on their couch, they weren’t here to see it. So there.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 88 minutes


Another red card for Sydney!

No way...

Corey Hollman has now seen red! They’re down to nine men. This is crazy.

It didn’t look like much… but no, upon replay, Mariners substitute Ronald Barcellos has copped an elbow in the face from the Sydney FC midfielder, who was yellow-carded in the first half for a trip. That’s fair enough. Barcellos sort of ran into it as he was challenging for the ball, but it was there.

So there’s another one gone for next weekend’s second leg in Gosford.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 83 minutes

A reminder: Jack Rodwell will miss next week’s second leg

Red card = automatic suspension = a selection conundrum for Ufuk Talay next week. Good thing Jordan Courtney-Perkins isn’t injured and can play at centre-back.

Jack Rodwell is sent off.

Jack Rodwell is sent off.Credit: Getty

Sydney scores… but it’s disallowed!

The drama. The drama!

Rhyan Grant has the ball in the back of the net but it’s been ruled out due to offside.

Sydney FC had a free kick which found a Central Coast player’s foot… the ball then deflected off the post and into Gabriel Lacerda… it’s then centred and Grant heads it in but because Lacerda was offside when the free kick was originally delivered, it won’t count.

So. Much. Doing!

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 73 minutes


Talay turns to his bench

After Rodwell was sent off, Ufuk Talay made a substitution to rebalance things for Sydney FC - defender Gabriel Lacerda has come on, but Max Burgess has been withdrawn, which means they’ll see out this clash without (in my opinion) their most effective attacking player so far tonight. Big call.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 65 minutes

While you catch your breath - here’s the Mariners’ second goal

Jack Rodwell is off! Straight red after VAR review

That was orange, I reckon, but the ref’s given Rodwell a yellow card for a studs-up tackle on Christian Theoharous. It looks like he gets some of the ball, too, but it’s an aggressive lunge and I’ve seen reds given for much less. He’s a very fortunate man… unless the VAR gets involved?

We await the intervention of the man in the booth, Kris Griffiths-Jones...

And referee Ben Abraham has been summoned to the sideline for another look, which means only one thing. It’s upgraded to red.

Sydney FC are down to 10 men.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 62 minutes



Well now.

The Mariners could be about to make it 2-1.

Referee Ben Abraham has pointed straight at the spot after Christian Theoharous had his legs taken out from under him by Anthony Caceres as he tried to pivot in the box - he was shaping to shoot to finish off a rapid counter from the Mariners triggered by a galloping run by Alou Kuol.

The Sky Blues protest and we’re waiting for a verdict from the VAR, but it looks clear to me... and it has been confirmed.

Mikael Doka stands over it… and scores! Andrew Redmayne picks the right direction but can’t get a hand to it.

They’re up. Wow.

Sydney FC 1-2 Central Coast Mariners, 55 minutes

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