Mariners Outclass Phoenix
Brilliant teenager Tomas Rogic again showed his class with a spectacular second half strike as Central Coast Mariners returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.
Rogic, who scored his first goal in Mariners colours against Melbourne Victory last week, highlighted his potential when he fired home a perfectly placed shot from the edge of the penalty box in the 52nd minute.
Rogic picked up a loose ball, took a touch and then unleashed a curling left foot strike that left Wellington goalkeeper Mark Paston with no chance.
The top of the table Mariners sealed the points when central defender Patrick Zwaanswijk scored his sixth goal of the season when he headed home a Michael McGlinchey freekick in the 83rd minute.
The opening goal from Rogic came as a huge relief to Mariners coach Graham Arnold who watched on as his side dominated possession and field position for the first 50 minutes without scoring.
It was all the Mariners for the majority of the first half with the home side peppering the Wellington defence for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
The Mariners could easily have gone to the break two or three goals up but a mixture of some desperate defence and poor finishing kept the visitors on level terms at the interval.
The action started early for Central Coast with McGlinchey missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring when he fired a shot straight at Paston in the second minute.
Eight minutes later the Mariners again had a great chance to score when John Sutton, Adam Kwasnik and Rogic all had goalbound chances blocked in an amazing passage of play.
Wellington's only real chance of the first half came in the 23rd minute when Chris Greenacre's brilliant back post volley went just over the bar with Mariners goalkeeper Justin Pasfield beaten.
It did not take the Mariners long to regain dominance with more chances falling to Kwasnik, Rogic and Sutton in a first half completely dominated by Central Coast.
The Mariners got the second off to a perfect start with Rogic's goal and came close to doubling the lead when Rostyn Griffiths headed on to the crossbar from a corner in the 54th minute.
From then on Wellington started to get into the contest.
Greenacre had a strong header well saved in the 58th minute as the Phoenix started to get more possession.
Central Coast were not as clinical in possession and Wellington looked much more dangerous in attack in the second period.
Mariners chances were few and far between in the final 20 minutes. Replacement Berni Ibini had a good chance to seal the three points in the 79th minute but his low shot was easily dealt with by Paston.
Zwaanswijk eased any concerns for the home fans with his goal with time almost up.
Central Coast 2 (Tomas Rogic 52’, Patrick Zwaanswijk 83’)