Late goals from Diogo Ferreira and Grant Brebner gave Melbourne Victory a 2-1 win over Central Coast in a New Year’s Eve thriller at Gosford.
The third-placed Mariners went ahead in the 48th minute after an own goal from Melbourne defender Adrian Leijer, before second-half replacement Ferreira equalised with five minutes to play.
A shocking mistake from young Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan in the 87th minute saw Brebner presented with an easy tap-in to win the match.
Ryan should have easily held Ferreira’s long-range shot but the shot-stopper fumbled the ball and Brebner had the easiest of tasks to score what turned out to be the winner in front of 12,409 fans at Bluetongue Stadium.
It was a heartbreaking end to the match for the Mariners who looked on course for a third win in succession.
”They got two soft goals from fatigue,” Central Coast coach Graham Arnold lamented.
”The game changed completely with the sending off (of in-form Mariners striker Adam Kwasnik). I’m proud of the boys, for me there was only one team on the field in the first half.”
Melbourne remain in fifth place on the A-League table after their fourth straight win.