The A-League came out victorious over second division sides in two FFA Cup matches on Wednesday night as the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory managed wins in Wollongong and Perth.
In the opening match of the night the Mariners got the win over South Coast Wolves in front of a 6000 strong crowd at WIN Stadium.
The Wolves have a proud history in Australian football, being the surviving team of the National Soccer League’s Wollongong Wolves, who won two NSL Championships back-to-back and were keen to prove they could match it against a “new” football team who has a strong history in the new incarnation of the national top flight league.
The Mariners had the lead in the 12th minute as a quick free-kick allowed Josh Rose to send in a ball for Glenn Trifiro who got in at a tight angle, but squeezed it past Daniel Collison to open the scoring.
It was a tight match, as the score reflects, but the Mariners were looking the better side and could well have added more goals as the chances kept falling.
Three good chances fell to the Mariners later in the first half as Zac Anderson had his effort cleared off the line before Mitchell Duke hit the post, keeping it 1-0 at the break.
Six minutes in to the second half, South Coast could well have had an equalizer as Samuel Matthews was able to make a run on goal, but before he could get a shot away the Mariners scrambled back and shut down the run to keep the lead.
The Mariners seemed fairly content on their lead and, despite plenty of attack from the Wolves, they were always looking like coming away with the win.
In the very last minute Mariners’ new boy, Malick Mane could well have made it a 2-0 in as he was able to break through and hit a powerful strike which was well saved by Collison, forcing the Mariners to settle for a 1-0 win.
Melbourne Victory also avoided a giant killing as they managed a 2-0 win over Bayswater City at WA Athletics Stadium.
Melbourne Victory were dominating the match in the opening stages and could well have hit the lead very early on as GuillermeFinkler hit a free-kick that BesartBerisha got on the end of but was denied as he sent it wide.
In the 22nd minute that pressure finally paid off as Melbourne Victory hit the lead as some neat passing tore Bayswater City apart, allowing KostaBarabarouses to send the ball home.
Bayswater tried hard to attack, but they weren’t able to break through Melbourne Victory, with Nathan Coe looking strong in goal and keeping the Western Australians out.
In the 77th minute Melbourne Victory wrapped up the win as Berisha was able to set Archie Thompson free allowing him to put away the clincher, that allowed Victory the 2-0 win.