Central Coast Mariners must win to keep their increasingly faint A-League Premier’s Plate hopes alive this afternoon when they host old foes Brisbane Roar. We’ll have live scores from 5.00pm AEDT.
It always looked like a testing period for the Mariners, with a heavy end-of-season schedule due to the Asian Champions League, and so it has been.
Graham Arnold’s side have lost their last two A-League matches to Western Sydney and Sydney respectively, failing to score a goal in the process, and were beaten 3-1 by Kashiwa Reysol on Wednesday night.
With the Wanderers winning down in Melbourne last night, the Mariners must bridge the eight-point gap or their chances of adding a second consecutive Premier’s Plate will be over.
Brisbane come down to Bluetongue well and truly still in the hunt for a finals berth, and would be buoyed by the 1-1 draw they were able to grind out against Melbourne Victory last Saturday night.
Key stars Berisha and Broich might still be a way off their best but they showed signs last time that they are on the way, and if Mike Mulvey’s side are to sneak into the six he needs them to be firing.
Despite the criticism of Mulvey, he has been able to pick up three wins and two draws from his last five matches, and another three points this evening will move the Roar into fifth spot on 32 points.
After a long journey back from Japan on Thursday, Arnold’s men will be truly tested as they try and manage the effects of the flight the effects of an already-long season.
Central Coast are the far better side over the course of the season but Brisbane could manage a snatch-and-grab here.