Soccer: Mariners aiming to make it fourth time lucky

By Terry Maddaford

Pedj Bojic of the Mariners. Photo / Getty Images
Pedj Bojic of the Mariners. Photo / Getty Images

Central Coast Mariners have their fourth chance to win their first A-League title.

Debutants Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-0 home win over defending champions Brisbane Roar on Friday confirmed their place in the final, while the Mariners beat Melbourne Victory 1-0 on Sunday.

The Mariners have enjoyed little luck in grand finals. They lost 0-2 to Sydney in the inaugural 2005-06 league. Two years later they won the Premiers Plate but lost the final to neighbours Newcastle Jets.

Two years ago they held minor premiers Brisbane Roar to 2-2 before losing on penalties.

Mariners regulars Matt Ryan, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Josh Rose, All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey, Pedj Bojic and Oliver Bozanic all started in that game while John Hutchinson, Bernie Ibini and Daniel McBreen played off the bench.

McBreen's stunning strike got his team home in Sunday's semifinal.

The two sides met three times this year. They drew 0-0 in the season opener, Central Coast won 2-0 away in round 15 and the Wanderers won 1-0, also away, in round 23.

The Wanderers lost more games than the Mariners in the regular season with their 1-0 stumble to the Wellington Phoenix in round nine among their six losses.

The Mariners dropped points in Wellington in round 12 when held 1-1 by the Phoenix but made amends in round 20 with a 5-0 romp and ended the season with just five losses and scoring seven more goals than the Wanderers.

It is the third time two NSW teams have met in the final.

- NZ Herald

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