Sydney FC and Mariners finish 2-2

Reigning Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney FC has taken a point in its fierce 2-2 Week 24 encounter against the second-placed Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

Reigning Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney FC has taken a point in its fierce 2-2 Week 24 encounter against the second-placed Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

In what was a must win clash for the Sky Blues, Sydney FC began the local derby in scintillating fashion, surging to a 2-0 lead after just 28 minutes but two goals early in the second half from the Mariners saw the teams share the points.

Sydney FC-s next match is against the Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday 29 January (6:45pm kick-off).

“We played good football in the first half. We were compact in defence and simple in attack. It was an exciting game for football fans,” Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka said.

“We know the Mariners would be strong so credit to them. They made some changes and put us under a lot of pressure.

Captain Terry McFlynn said his side, who are unbeaten in their last four games, would continue to work as hard as ever.

“We will keep going to the end,” McFlynn said. “We have the Asian Champions League to look forward to. The last four games have been better from us so we will build on that heading into the Champions League.”

Young striker Dimitri Petratos opened the scoring in the 17th minute for the away side as Scott Jamieson provided the perfect long pass to Petratos but despite the protests of the majority of the crowd of 10,546 fans who thought Bruno Cazarine was offside, the goal stood as Cazarine was seen not to have impacted on the play.

Graham Arnold-s men were searching for the equaliser as Michael McGlinchey sent the free kick to Perez inside the box but he was unable to find the back of the net. The Yellow and Navy faithful watched as McGlinchey missed his opportunity to test the away ‘keeper Liam Reddy but instead smashed the ball over the fence onto the Gosford motorway.

Petratos scored his first ever Hyundai A-League brace in the 27th minute after an error from Central Coast defender Patrick Zwaanswijk allowed the speedy young star to gain possession on the edge of the box before calmly slotting it into the left corner of the net past Mariners gloveman Mathew Ryan.

Arnold went searching for goals early on in the second half as Mariners youngster Trent Sainsbury made way for striker Daniel McBreen and only minutes later, Oliver Bozanic put in a great ball to Perez who scored his fourth goal of the campaign with a clinical right footed finish.

Mariners- big man Matt Simon levelled the scores in the 56th minute after a free kick from Perez findin him in the box which he put away for his tenth goal of the season.

Both teams decided it was time to make some changes shortly after as a double substitution was made as Mariners midfielder John Hutchinson took to the field for Rostyn Griffiths and Juho Makela came on.

The impact of ‘The Surgeon- was almost immediate after he shot the ball over Mathew Ryan-s crossbar after a great cross from Hirofumi Moriyasu. Both teams pushed for a third but couldn-t find strike the killer blow as the game ended 2-2.

Central Coast Mariners: 2 (Patricio PEREZ 49-, Matt SIMON 57-) Sydney FC: 2 (Dimitri PETRATOS 17-, 28-)

Sydney FC line-up: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE (18. Juho MAKELA 63-), 10. Nick CARLE (2. Sebastian RYALL 85-), 15. Terry McFLYNN (c) (12. Shannon COLE 72-), 17. Matthew JURMAN, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS.

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk). Yellow Cards: 8. Stuart MUSIALIK 23-, 10. Nicky CARLE 44-, Terry MCFLYNN 71-, Juho MAKELA 78- Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Dimitri PETRATOS 17-, 28-

Central Coast Marinersline-up: 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. PatrickZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (7. John HUTCHINSON 62-), 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY (2. Daniel MCBREEN 46-), 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Matthew RYAN (gk), 23. Adam KWASNIK (22. Mustafa AMINI 80-). Substitutes Not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk). Yellow Cards: Pedj BOJIC 83- Red Cards: Nil. Goals: Patricio PEREZ 49-, Matt SIMON 57-

Referee: Strebre DELOVSKI Crowd: 10 546 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.