The Central Coast Mariners will qualify for the A-League men’s grand final for the first time since 2013 after an emotional 2-0 victory over Adelaide United.
Backed by a packed Central Coast Stadium that filled the venue for the first time in Mariners history, quick goals from Samuel Silbera and Marco Tulio after halftime broke Reds resistance and led the host team to victory. Won 4-1 on aggregate in the two semi-finals.
The youngest team in the tournament will look to end their fairytale season in the ALM deciding match against Melbourne City at Bankwest Stadium on 3 June.
City will be looking to double the premiership and championship while qualifying for their fourth straight grand final.
Their dominating streak began in the same season the Mariners recorded their fourth wooden spoon in five seasons.
Both teams started at a breakneck pace, befitting the huge stakes in this match.
However, it was the Mariners who maintained their early momentum and took control of the game, with back-to-back chances from Nektarios Triantis, Tulio and Brian Kartak coming close to scoring the first goal.
But just three minutes into the second round, Jason Cummings ran in from the right and turned the ball around to score for Silvera, to the delight of the home crowd.
Four minutes later, Tulio pounced on a rebound from Joe Gouch’s sharp save and shot from an almost impossible angle to make it 2-0.
Adelaide manager Karl Fart desperately sought a way to turn things around and moved to throw Nestorie Irankunda into contention as his team began to desperately advance.
The teenage sensation had a shot into the post in the 70th minute, but neither he nor his veteran teammates could find a way to ruin the Mariners’ historic night.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-20/central-coast-mariners-beat-adelaide-reach-a-league-grand-final/102373218 Central Coast Mariners beat Adelaide 4-1 on aggregate to face Melbourne City in A-League Grand Final