Central Coast Mariners comprehensively defeated Adelaide United 4-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium in week nine of the Hyundai A-League played on Friday.
Goals to young attackers Mustafa Amini and Bernie Ibini put the Mariners on their way, before experienced Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk netted from the penalty spot in the 39th minute – his third goal in as many weeks.
Rostyn Griffiths added a fourth for the Mariners in the second stanza, adding gloss to a fluent team display in the City of Churches.
Adelaide started brightly and created the first two opportunities of the match. Neat interplay down either flank saw Ricardo Da Silva and Bruce Djite presented with chances, however Qantas Olyroos custodian Mathew Ryan was more than up to the test on both occasions.
The Mariners then took charge and it was a sprightly looking Amini who began to impose his precocious talent on the match.
First Amini slalomed through some passive Adelaide defending before firing direct at Eugene Galekovic, while just three minutes later the diminutive number ten forced the Adelaide number one into a better save from long range.
But Galekovic could do little to stop Amini in the 29th minute. A delicate slide rule pass by Pedj Bojic found the onrushing attacking ace. Shooting low and hard, the BVB Borussia Dortmund loanee got the goal his skill and enterprise deserved.
Amini’s goal sparked a sensational period for the Mariners. In fact, it would take the yellow and navy just three minutes to double their advantage.
Michael McGlinchey did well to cross low into the box for November’s nominee for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year, Ibini. Hitting a sweetly timed shot with his right boot, Ibini left Galekovic stranded and underlined his impressive start to the 2011/12 campaign.
It would take Central Coast just another six minutes to add a third. Bursting into the box, Ibini was dragged back as he shot at the Adelaide goal. Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones played the advantage, but with Ibini only managing to hit the woodwork due to McKain’s foul, a penalty was awarded.
Zwaanswijk, supremely confident having netted three times already this season, took it upon himself to extend the Mariners’ lead. With composure and class, the imposing former FC Utrecht stopper fired directly down the centre to send the Mariners travelling support into raptures.
Graham Arnold’s chargers began the second half as they had left the first and in the 50th minute it was striker Matt Simon who nearly scored Central Coast’s fourth. Simon struck hard at Galekovic who made a spectacular save, with the hardworking striker firing the rebound into the woodwork.
On 66 minutes Griffiths would net the Mariners’ fourth. An inch-perfect cross by McGlinchey found the head of the defensive midfielder who made no mistake in nodding the ball into the back of the net.
Griffiths’ goal would prove to be the last of the match, however it wasn’t for a lack of endeavour from the Mariners. Indeed, substitutes Oliver Bozanic and Daniel McBreen, as well as the aforementioned Amini went extremely close to adding a fifth for the away team.
After the game Mariners boss Arnold expressed his delight with his team's performance and praised the efforts of his young guns.
“I think the first half was by far the best performance of the season," Arnold said. "The young boys were great, we got 90 minutes out of both Amini and Ibini and that is a big positive."
According to Arnold, the good condition of his players augurs well for the club leading into next week's F3 Derby match against the Newcastle Jets - and the rest of the campaign.
"I have 22 players to pick from. The F3 Derby is great and it's great going into the game with the form that we have for next week.
"We hope that there's a real big crowd at Bluetongue next week because the boys deserve it."
Central Coast Mariners face Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium next Saturday 10 December.
Adelaide United 0
Central Coast Mariners 4 (Amini 29’, Ibini 32’, Zwaanswijk 39’, Griffiths 65’)
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (Gk), 2. Osama MALIK, 4. Jon MCKAIN, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 11. Bruce DJITE, 13. Ricardo DA SILVA (5. Daniel MULLEN), 14. Cameron WATSON (16. Spase DILEVSKI), 17. Iain RAMSAY, 18. Fabian BARBIERO, 21. Francisco USUCAR, 22. Milan SUSAK (8. Evgeniy LEVCHENKO)
Subs not Used: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk)
Yellow Cards: Susak, Mullen, McKain
Red Cards: None
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew RYAN (Gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (11. Oliver BOZANIC), 9. Bernie IBINI, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY (12. Troy HEARFIELD), 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON (2. Daniel MCBREEN), 22. Mustafa AMINI
Subs not Used: 20. Justin PASFIELD (Gk)
Yellow Cards: Rose, Bojic, Zwaanswijk
Red Cards: None
Referee: Kris GRIFFITHS-JONES
Crowd: 8,437 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide