Classy Mariners pile pain on Phoenix in Wellington
Central Coast Mariners became the first team to win at Westpac Stadium this season with a dominant 4-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Daniel De Silva, Andrew Hoole and Trent Buhagiar all scored after half-time to completely outclass the hosts, who remain bottom of the Hyundai A-League.
The Mariners never looked back after taking a deserved lead into the break, holding their nerve even after Dario Vidosic pulled Phoenix back to within two goals.
With just their second win away from home in the space of 12 months, Paul Okon's ended a run of three successive defeats against Wellington and have returned at least momentarily to the top six.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Gui Finkler went closest during an entertaining first 20 minutes, the Brazilian firing narrowly wide of the left upright from inside the area.
- But it was the Mariners who should have opened the scoring on the half-hour. Hoole failed to beat Lewis Italiano in a one-on-one, and the goalkeeper held De Silva's tame follow-up.
- The visitors did get their goal before the break as Andrija Kaluderovic inadvertently headed a corner past his own goalkeeper.
- And it was two within 10 minutes of the restart as the impressive De Silva notched his second of the campaign with a simple finish.
- Hoole added a third soon after with the finest goal of the game and his second of the season.
- Wellington did grab an immediate lifeline through Vidosic, but it proved only a consolation as Central Coast comfortably negotiated the final 20 minutes and extended their lead in stoppage time through Buhagiar.
Kaluderovic OG, Central Coast Mariners 39': 0-1
Hoole's inswinging corner skimmed off Kaluderovic's head at the near post and went in off the far upright.
De Silva, Central Coast Mariners 54': 0-2
Connor Pain's low cross in for Kwabena Appiah broke kindly for De Silva, who tucked away the loose ball at close range.
Hoole, Central Coast Mariners 66': 0-3
Teed up by Pain, Hoole curled a delightful finish into the top right corner from the edge of the area.
Vidosic, Wellington Phoenix 71': 1-3
Vidosic was afforded too much space to head home Matthew Ridenton's floated free-kick.
Buhagiar, Central Coast Mariners 90'+3: 1-4
Put clean through on goal by fellow substitute Blake Powell, Buhagiar made no mistake with a tidy left-foot finish past Italiano.