A-League: Mariners beat the Victory

Having ended his Central Coast Mariners stint in winning style, teenage sensation Garang Kuol is “excited to learn more” when he joins English Premier League club Newcastle.

A Jason Cummings brace ensured his Socceroos teammate Kuol’s time with the Mariners culminated with a 2-1 New Year Eve win in Gosford over the sliding Melbourne Victory, who have now lost five of their nine matches this season.

In his final A-League appearance before the start of his Newcastle contract, Kuol played for 78 minutes before he was substituted and given a standing ovation from Mariners fans as he left the field.

“I was just happy for the boys,” Kuol told Network 10.

“I knew the boys were going to secure the win and go into the new year on a high.”

With his Mariners career now over, Kuol said he was excited about continuing his football journey in Europe.

“I’m excited to learn more stuff, be around different people, different cultures – I can’t wait,” he said.

Mariners captain and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic paid tribute to Kuol.

“You’ve seen what he’s done for us already this season and last season,” Vukovic said.

“He’s a special kid, a special player, and wanted to send him off on the right note with a win, and we managed to do that.

“Now we all watch from here and see how far he takes his career.”

Kuol had a hand in the Mariners’ first goal in the 11tn minute when spread the play wide with a quality pass that found overlapping fullback Storm Roux.

The New Zealander then cut inside on to his left foot before delivering a pinpoint far-post cross for Cummings to head the hosts into the lead.

Cummings thought he had doubled the Mariners lead seven minutes later when he had the ball in the back of the net again following the Victory’s failure to deal with a corner.

However, VAR intervention led to Cummings correctly being ruled offside in the build up to the goal.

The Victory, equalised in the 39th minute through a brilliant strike from Spanish left back Kadete, whose curling effort into the top corner was too good for custodian Vukovic.

However, the Mariners restored their lead eight minutes after half time via another Cummings header, who nodded home his sixth goal of the season after the Victory again failed to deal with a corner.

Cummings might have had a chance to secure a hat-trick after referee Daniel Elder pointed to the penalty spot in the 66th minute after Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet went down under the challenge of Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton, who was making his first appearance of the season after Paul Izzo injured his thumb during the week.

But after advice from the VAR and checking video footage, Elder changed his mind, correctly ruling that Acton’s arm reached the ball first before Nisbet was sent tumbling.

However, a third goal wasn’t needed in the end, as the Mariners secured their fifth win of the season.

“The boys kept going in the second half, we got the win and we’re happy,” Vukovic said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *