Pumped-up Okon: Mariners victory over champions showed ‘heart’
After one of the great wins this season by any side, Mariners coach Paul Okon declared his side’s heart was the key after slaying reigning champions Sydney FC 2-0 on Friday night.
“With it being Remembrance Round before the game the message wasn’t about our what we’d do with our football, it was showing who had the bigger heart,” an ecstatic Okon told Fox Sports.
“I’m quite confident we are one of the best football teams in the competition, we’ve shown it already in the six games.
“The results haven’t been what they potentially could’ve been. But tonight was about manning up and winning your battles against your opponent. And really showing we wanted to win our game more than our opposition.”
After weathering an early storm the Mariners hurt Sydney FC with a superb goal on the counter attack from one of the best on ground, former Sky Blue Andrew Hoole.
And after that a second came just after the break from Jake McGing's power hearder - and despite a rearguard action by Sydney FC after Mariner Alan Baro’s late red card, the hosts held firm.
Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold conceded the Mariners “played out of their skin”.
Okon added: “We can play possession but also transition football and we did that in the last 15 minutes.
“I thought we were dangerous all night. I’m super proud of the whole club. We are a small club but our mentality is that of a big club.”