David Carney scored the winner after Central Coast Mariners gave league leaders Sydney FC an almighty scare at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The home side will have reason to feel aggrieved after fighting back from two goals down for the second week in a row in the second-half – missing a penalty along the way.
However their endeavours would ultimately go unrewarded after Carney turned home a late winner despite appearing to be in an offside position.
A goal either side of half time from Sky Blues marquee Bobo appeared to have the visitors coasting to victory, only for Roy O’Donovan to pull a goal back.
Central Coast should have drawn level from the penalty spot but Fabio Ferreira blazed his effort well over the crossbar.
The Mariners did grab a deserved equaliser shortly after with their Portuguese winger going some way to atoning for his miss by setting up the chance that was finished by Scott Galloway.
However the goal proved to be in vain when Paul Okon’s side allowed Sydney FC to reply barely a minute later to grab all three points, although there was a hint of offside when Carney headed home.
0-1 Sydney FC: Bobo, 43’
Michael Zullo floated in a cross to the top of the box that was headed down by Filip Holosko for his strike partner, who took a touch before stroking it past Paul Izzo.
0-2 Sydney FC: Bobo, 48’
Some crafty work from Milos Ninkovic had the Mariners defence retreating before the he laid the ball off for the Brazilian who was able to side-foot into an empty net.
1-2 Central Coast: Roy O’Donovan, 66’
Fabio Ferreira whipped in a dangerous free-kick which was headed towards goal by Holosko. O’Donovan was lurking at the back post and headed strongly to level the scores.
2-2 Central Coast: Scott Galloway, 76’
Ferreira set sail down field before finding O’Donovan with a cross at the back post. The Irishman got a shot away which was saved by Danny Vukovic but Galloway was there to turn home the rebound.
3-2 Sydney FC: David Carney, 77’
The home side switched off after drawing level, with Ninkovic allowed to run at the defence before crossing for Carney who angled it inside the near post. The substitute appeared to have been marginally off-side but the goal was allowed to stand.
The Sky Blues were dealt a huge blow less than 90 seconds into the contest when Sebastian Ryall injured his hamstring after losing his footing and landing awkwardly. The stand-in skipper, who had come into the side for the departed Matt Jurman, was replaced by Josh Brillante with Brandon O’Neill dropping into the defensive line.
Josh Brillante picked up his fifth booking of the season midway through the second half which will see him suspended from next week’s Sydney Derby. The misery was compounded by the fact the Mariners scored from the resulting free-kick.
11,398 @ Central Coast Stadium – the home side’s biggest of the season.
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