Sorry Reds no match for classy Mariners
Adelaide United FC has sunk to a deflating 4-0 home defeat to a supremely drilled Central Coast Mariners outfit at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Fielding a number of players who have had limited game time in the Hyundai A-League this season, the Reds were unfortunately made to look second rate as the Mariners piled on three goals in the first half to effectively end the contest before adding a fourth after the interval to round out the result.
The Mariners had winners all over the park on a dark day for the Reds, who had not had four goals put past them at Hindmarsh since October 2, 2006 when they lost 4-1 to Sydney FC.
Goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic was again in vintage form as he pulled off a string of impressive saves to ensure the margin did not blow out further, while the rest of the Reds tried hard but could not match it with the disciplined Mariners.
United Head Coach Rini Coolen was quick to carry the blame for the performance and apologise to the Reds faithful who have been patiently waiting for this team to find its football mojo.
“It’s not nice when you see your team playing like that and we’re definitely a team with some problems and we got confirmation of that today,” Coolen admitted.
“I’m not looking for excuses because it was very bad…but we have to move and do better because that’s our job and we’re very disappointed.”
“I’m disappointed myself, I’m responsible for it at the end of the day, that’s how it is. The players tried to do their best, it’s just in technical ways we make big mistakes.”
“For me disappointing your supporters is a big thing because they come here and buy tickets to see some good football, but we have been struggling in the last couple of weeks, we tried to change that and we don’t give up because you have to look at the future and you have to be better, it can’t be any worse than today.”
“They (the fans) come and support us every week and like I said, it was disappointing.”
“We have too much quality for what we’re doing now and as I mentioned I’m responsible for that, and I’m still looking at the future in a positive way.”
The energy around Hindmarsh and the build up prior to the game was positive enough with Coolen rewarding Fabian Barbiero, Osama Malik and Ricardo Da Silva with places in the starting eleven and when a well worked move gave Da Silva the first shot of the night on 11 minutes, the signs looked promising.
But the early excitement was quickly distinguished after the half hour when the Mariners struck twice within two minutes.
Mustafa Amini had already tested Galekovic with two vicious drives on goal and while the Reds gloveman was able to frustrate the young Mariners star on those occasions, it was third time lucky for Amini as his clever run into the box went untracked leaving him to coolly slot the ball past a helpless Galekovic.
Then just as Coolen appeared to be making some positional changes to the Reds’ defence, the Mariners exploited space out on the right to allow an unmarked Bernie Ibini in the box to blast the ball into the back of the net and leave the Reds two goals behind.
Two down inside 32 minutes would require one of the Reds’ best rescue efforts to get back into the game but things went from bad to worse six minutes later when Jon McKain was penalised for grabbing the shirt of Ibini as he curled a shot into the post from inside the penalty area.
Patrick Zwaanswijk duly converted from the spot and the Reds were now staring at a three goal deficit.
It was still the Mariners creating the better chances after the break, only brilliant reflexes from Galekovic and the post preventing Matt Simon from adding a fourth as the Reds’ character was being severely tested.
Cameron Watson tried to breathe some life into the home side and the crowd when his run and deflected left footed shot sailed just over the crossbar in the 55th minute.
However, Rostyn Griffiths headed home from a Michael McGlinchey set piece in the 66th minute to give the Mariners a fourth to completely shut the door on the Reds.
Many of the United faithful heading for the aisles with time still remaining summed up the Reds’ night and they must now attempt to regroup for a trip to Etihad Stadium next Saturday night to face Melbourne Victory.
Adelaide United FC 0
Central Coast Mariners 4 (Amini 30’, Ibini 32’, Zwaanswijk 38’ (pen), Griffiths 66’)
Referee: Kris Griffiths Jones
Crowd: 8,437 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 2.Osama Malik, 4.Jon McKain (c), 7.Zenon Caravella, 11.Bruce Djite, 13.Ricardo Da Silva (5.Daniel Mullen 46’), 14.Cameron Watson (16.Spase Dilevski 65’), 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Usucar, 22.Milan Susak (8.Evgeniy Levchenko 76’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Mark Birighitti (gk)
Yellow Cards: Susak 16’, McKain 38’, Mullen 73’
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1.Matthew Ryan (Gk), 3.Joshua Rose, 4.Pedj Bojic, 6.Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7.John Hutchinson, 8.Rostyn Griffiths (11.Oliver Bozanic 68’), 9.Bernie Ibini, 14.Michael McGlinchey (12.Troy Hearfield 74’), 18.Alex Wilkinson, 19.Matt Simon (2.Daniel McBreen 77’), 22.Mustafa Amini
Substitutes not used: 20.Justin Pasfield (Gk)
Yellow Cards: Rose 19’, Zwaanswijk 79’, Bojic 83’
Red Cards: Nil