Football: Central Coast Mariners break Wellington Phoenix hearts with late winner in heavyweight A-League clash

  • 06/04/2024

A stoppage time goal has seen Central Coast Mariners defeat Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in their top-of-the-table A-League battle in Gosford on Saturday.

The result lifts the Mariners above the Phoenix in the competition standings on goal differential with just three rounds remaining. 

Unable to cash in on their superiority through the majority of the first half, the Mariners eventually found the opening goal in the 61st minute.

Phoenix players celebrate Ben Old's goal.
Phoenix players celebrate Ben Old's goal. Photo credit: Getty Images

Storm Roux played a slick cross back across the face of goal for Torres to finish with a brilliantly executed diving header.

But the Phoenix refused to roll over, and it was Ben Old who helped the visitors fight back level.

In the 79th minute, Kosta Barbarouses unleashed Oskar van Hattum down the right edge, and the youngster played a delectable low cross directly into Old's path for the simplest of finishes.

In the first minute of stoppage time, the Mariners broke through again for the lead courtesy of a spectacular solo effort by Mikael Doka, dribbling to the edge of the box and unleashing the game-sealing dagger.

The Phoenix will try to bounce back when they host Melbourne Victory on Friday.

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Angel Torres 61st min, Mikael Doka 90th min + 1) Wellington Phoenix 1 (Ben Old 78th min).