Western Sydney Wanderers continued their fine A-League form with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.
Second-half goals from Brendon Santalab and Mitch Nichols helped Tony Popovic’s side to their fifth consecutive victory.
The Wanderers’ fifth win in eight league games this season saw them move into second in the table, level on points with leaders Melbourne Victory.
The hosts attacked often in Gosford but struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Wanderers attacker Romeo Castelen looked the most likely to score and the Dutchman hit the post from an angle in the first half.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley also went close just before the break, heading wide after a Dario Vidosic cross.
But, eight minutes after coming on, Santalab would deliver for the visitors.
Nichols provided the pass and the forward held his nerve in a one-on-one with Paul Izzo, sliding in a neat finish to make it 1-0.
The Mariners pushed for a winner but were punished at the other end in the second minute of additional time.
Jaushua Sotirio would set up Nichols for a close-range finish as the Wanderers extended the Mariners’ winless run to seven games, leaving Central Coast third-bottom in the table.
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