Strange encounters of the A-League kind: Melbourne Victory stumbling their way to a 3-2 win over Central Coast Mariners.
There were a few raised eyebrows when Victory released their line up for today. Toivonen on the bench and Antonis at right back. On the evidence of the first half, it was the wrong choice.
Victory were completely swept away in the first half, but somehow the score was only 2-0. Both goals came from stunning Andrew Hoole free kicks.
The Central Coast midfield stifled everything the Victory could throw at them, but the Central Coast attack didn’t do enough to dominate on the scoreboard.
Victory were a much better team after the break. It could have been Elvis Kamsoba coming on at half time, or maybe there was just something about attacking towards the sauce bottles, but Victory came up with the goals when they had the chances.
Central Coast Mariners
Ben Kennedy - 4
Made some important early stops. He didn’t hold it together in the second half though. He’s culpable for Victory’s equaliser and it was counted as an own goal.
Jonathan Aspropotamitis - 5.5
He dealt with Athiu most of the time. But he needed to do it for an entire 90 minutes. Half a good game isn’t enough.
Kye Rowles - 7.5
Last week he might have pulled off a sensational save but this week he pulled off a whole host of more important plays.
He really stood out for his team in defence tonight. Sadly for the Mariners he couldn’t be everywhere and one of the only times he wasn’t tight on Barbarouses, the Kiwi scored.
Tom Hiariej - 6
Possibly the only Mariner to be consistent through the whole game. He made a nuisance of himself in the first half and played some nice balls in the second. Victory worked it out though.
Matt Millar - 6.5
Many in and around the Central Coast are absolutely livid at the news Millar has signed with the Jets for next season.
He was sent home early from training because of it, but he didn’t show any ill effects in the first half. In fact he looked sharp. But in the second half he was anonymous.
Aiden O’Neill - 6
The Central Coast midfield were brilliant in the first half but they just couldn’t keep that high standard.