Central Coast Mariners climbed off the foot of the A-League table with a deserved 2-1 home win over Adelaide United on Sunday.
Kye Rowles and Milan Duric scored first-half goals to lift Alen Stajcic’s side above Brisbane Roar and bitter rivals Newcastle Jets, who will spend Christmas Day in last place.
Centre-back Rowles swept Central Coast into a surprise fourth-minute lead after Adelaide, aiming to avoid a second defeat in three games, failed to clear a free-kick.
Serbian midfielder Duric doubled the margin with a thumping low strike shortly before the break, the goal his fourth in eight appearances.
Ben Halloran curled a delightful left-footed finish inside the far post to halve the deficit just 36 seconds after the restart, but that proved a mere consolation for Adelaide.
The Reds remain fifth ahead of Friday’s home game against Western Sydney Wanderers, while the Mariners will take renewed optimism into their New Year’s Eve meeting with Perth Glory.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) December 22, 2019
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