Mariners advance to Menpora Cup Final
Central Coast Mariners have advanced to the Final of the 2013 Menpora Cup following an entertaining 3-3 draw with Persib Bandung in West Java on Tuesday.
Central Coast Mariners have advanced to the Final of the 2013 Menpora Cup following an entertaining 3-3 draw with Persib Bandung at a raucous Stadion Si Jalak Harupat in West Java on Tuesday.
The Mariners booked their ticket in the eight-team international invitational tournament-s showpiece match courtesy of Nick Fitzgerald-s well-taken early goal, plus two classy strikes by the Club-s Argentine ace Marcos Flores.
Roared on by a partisan home crowd of 10,980, Persib Bandung proved to be stiff opposition on their home patch with three of the Club-s foreigners, Kenji Adachihara, Mbida Messi and Hilton Moreira netting in the eighth, 14th, and 92nd minutes respectively to force the draw with the current Hyundai A-League Champions.
The fancy Flores was questionably sent from the field in the 83rd minute for his second yellow card however will be eligible to participate in the Final on Sunday 29 September in accordance with the competition-s rules.
Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold said he was satisfied with his team-s display against a Persib outfit that showed plenty of grit, endeavour, and at times class against his side.
“It was fantastic for us,” Arnold said. “Persib played very good, it was a great game of football with some great goals - one of the best goals I-ve seen in a long, long time scored by them. It was the hit out that we needed. When we made a couple of mistakes we got punished, and that-s what you want.”
“I was very, very happy with Marcos- performance. He-s fitting in perfectly and he scored two brilliant goals. I was very, very pleased with our attacking play. We have worked very hard on our attacking play the last two weeks - these three or four games have been all about attack before we tighten up our defence when we get back to Australia.”
The final game of Menpora Cup Group A commenced at a hectic pace with four goals scored in the opening 20 minutes of play.
After netting against Sriwijaya FC in the Mariners- first match of the tournament, Fitzgerald made no mistake in giving Arnold-s charges the lead just three minutes in. Mitchell Duke-s purposeful strike was blocked but not cleared by the Bandung backline, and with the ball falling kindly for Fitzgerald he made no mistake in firing beyond Persib custodian Cecep Supriatna.
But Central Coast-s lead didn-t last long with Adachihara drawing the home team level just five minutes later. Moreira-s free kick struck the Mariners- defensive wall, and with the danger not cleared the man from Japan lashed a left foot strike past Justin Pasfield.
Bandung took the lead in the 14th minute via a moment of magic Mbida Messi-s namesake, Lionel, would be proud of. The Mariners lost possession in Bandung-s defensive half and, spotting Pasfield off his line, the Cameroonian attacker audaciously and impressively found the back of the net from well over halfway.
Parity was restored to the contest five minutes later with Flores dribbling through the heart of midfield before unleashing a superb low drive to beat Cecep.
Flores showed fantastic composure and technique in the 33rd minute to score his second, and Central Coast-s third goal of the game. Storm Roux raced down the right before perfectly picking out the former Newell-s Old Boys attacker who slid his shot into the corner of the net.
While the goals didn't flow in the second stanza like the first, this didn't necessarily represent the attacking intent of either side.
Moreira struck a nice effort just over the woodwork 54 minutes in, while a Mile Sterjovski shot flew over Cecep-s bar ten minutes from time.
The Mariners had at least two legitimate calls for a penalty waved away by referee Adung as the clock wound down.
Indonesia international midfielder Hariono struck Pasfield-s bar with an acrobatic effort following superb build up play from Moreira in the 87th minute, before the Brazilian took it upon himself to fire home from close range with virtually the final action of the encounter.
Arnold confirmed he will leave Indonesia on Wednesday accompanied by eight players to ensure the Club completes two fixtures on Sunday 29 September - a friendly against Newcastle Jets in Tamworth, and the 2013 Menpora Cup Final against the yet to be determined winner of Group B.
“We-ve got a duty and an obligation to fulfil back at home against Newcastle on Sunday,” Arnold said. “I-ll be flying home tomorrow with eight players, Adam Kwasnik is back in Australia fit and ready to go, so there-s nine players, plus a couple of our youth team boys will make up the numbers. We-ve got an obligation to give Newcastle a tough game and we will.”
“Phil Moss will do the Final on Sunday. They moved the date back from the 28th to the 29th which we weren-t so happy about but at the end of the day we are playing for USD$75,000 and there-s some good prize money available that everyone needs.”
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Fitzgerald 3-, Flores 19-, 38-) Persib Bandung 3 (Adachihara 8-, Messi 14-, Moreira 90+2-) Stadion Si Jalak Harupat, Bandung, Indonesia
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 3. Joshua Rose, 5. Zachary Anderson (4. Marcel Seip 62-), 7. John Hutchinson (C), 8. Nick Montgomery (17. Anthony Caceres 87-), 9. Mitchell Duke (14. Michael McGlinchey 73-), 10. Marcos Flores, 11. Nick Fitzgerald, 15. Storm Roux (13. Hayden Morton 83-), 16. Trent Sainsbury, 21. Mile Sterjovski Substitutes not used: 6. Brent Griffiths, 12. Liam Reddy (Gk), 19. Matt Simon, 22. Tom Slater Yellow cards: Roux, Flores x2 Red cards: Flores
Persib Bandung: 55. Cecep Supriatna (Gk), 3. Aang Suparman (5. Maman Abdurahman 62-), 6. Abanda Herman, 13. Agung Pribadi (18. Jajang Sukmara 75-), 16. Tony Sucipto, 24. Hariono, 80. Mbida Messi, 7. Atep (C) (15. Firman Utina 75-), 8. Hilton Moriera, 11. Kenji Adachihara (9. Airlanggan Sucipto 80-), 10. Sergio van Dijk (69. Sigit Hermawan 73-) Substitutes not used: 30. Rizky Bagja (Gk), 66. Asri Akbar Yellow cards: Messi Red cards: Nil
Attendance: 10,980 Referee: M. Adung Match Commissioner: M. Syarif