Report: Victory 2-3 Mariners

Melbourne Victory suffered a 3-2 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League on Monday.

Summary

Marco Rojas twice gave Victory the lead at Jubilee Stadium, where Dylan Fox and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz brought the Mariners level on both occasions.

Ruiz-Diaz then found the winner in the 89th minute as Victory fell to a fifth straight loss.

A pair of Victory teenagers almost combined for the opener in the ninth minute.

Birkan Kirdar played in Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, who used his pace before his low shot was saved by Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.

Good defending from Giancarlo Gallifuoco helped stop a Mariners attack before Acton dived to push away Matt Simon's header in the 18th minute.

Acton was called into action again three minutes later, palming away Simon's powerful free-kick from the edge of the area.

Victory took the lead through Rojas' third goal of the Hyundai A-League season in the 22nd minute.

Kirdar's wonderful pass led to confusion in the Mariners' defence, Birighitti unable to clear and Rojas putting away a simple opener.

Acton made another great save on the half-hour mark, denying Simon from point-blank range after a Jack Clisby cross before the Mariners striker glanced a header wide.

Elvis Kamsoba and Rojas almost combined for a second for Victory before Mariners attacker Samuel Silvera struck the post on the stroke of half-time.

Central Coast equalised three minutes into the second half, Fox scrambling in from close range after a set-piece.

Victory wasted a great opportunity in the 56th minute, Gallifuoco heading a Rojas set-piece wide as the visitor looked to restore its lead.

Acton continued his good performance with another fantastic save, getting down low to keep out a Fox header, and that stop would be crucial as Rojas put Victory back ahead.

After receiving a pass from Josh Hope, Rojas got in behind down the left before beating a defender inside and finding the bottom corner.

The Mariners equalised with five minutes remaining, Ruiz-Diaz finishing powerfully after a pass from Tommy Oar.

Ruiz-Diaz found a winner for Central Coast, finishing in a one-on-one in the 89th minute after being played through by Milan Djuric.

Player in focus

Opta Widget: Rojas CCM

Key moment

What they said – Rojas

on the game…
"To be honest we weren't exactly comfortable the whole game, given we were up both times, they did look dangerous and we left ourselves quite open at times."

on the finish to the season…
"It's been challenging. I think for everyone it's been a tough time, it's dragged out a lot and it's been difficult to get back into the rhythm of things. I think we've felt that a lot and we've got a young team, it's good for them to get some minutes, it's good for myself to adapt my game and to try and bring a bigger presence on the pitch and we have two more games to continue to do that and then get ourselves restarted for when it comes back again."

Result

Hyundai A-League 2019/20
Melbourne Victory 2
(Marco Rojas 22'/65')
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Dylan Fox 48', Dylan Ruiz-Diaz 85'/89')

Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Roux (Basha 36'), Donachie, Gallifuoco, Traore; Barnett, Broxham (c); Rojas (Athiu 86'), Kirdar (Hope 62'), Kamsoba (Lauton 62'); Lawrie-Lattanzio.
Central Coast Mariners: Birighitti (gk); Gordon, Fox, Rowles, Clisby; Nisbet; Silvera (Ruiz-Diaz 57'), Djuric, Stensness, Oar (Khoury 90+3'); Simon (c) (Jair 83').

Yellow cards: Silvera 39', Oar 51', Barnett 72', Simon 80', Athiu 90+1'
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Jubilee Stadium

Opta Widget: Stats

Next up

Victory is in action again on Saturday when it takes on Perth Glory at Jubilee Stadium.