Victory legend haunts former team in heroic display as Mariners reach semis for first time

Check out the highlights as Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners played out a thriller in the second Liberty A-League Elimination Final.

Central Coast Mariners’ fairytale season has continued thanks to penalty shoot-out expert Casey Dumont, who came back to haunt Melbourne Victory and lead the Gosford team to the Liberty A-League Semi-Finals.

Dumont saved two penalties and converted one of her own as the Mariners prevailed 4-2 on spot-kicks after Sunday’s Elimination Final ended 0-0 at the Home of the Matildas, setting up a two-legged showdown with defending champions Sydney FC.

A Victory legend, the star goalkeeper left the club for a cross-code switch to AFLW before joining Central Coast in January and her heroics against her former side saw her preserve her 100% record from five penalty shoot-outs.

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Dumont saved spot-kicks from Alana Murphy and Paige Zois as the Mariners – who returned to the Liberty A-League after 15-year hiatus, won their first Finals match having lost a 2009 Semi-Final against Brisbane Roar.

It was an evenly-contested match, with a couple of chances for both sides in the opening half.

Central Coast came close to opening the scoring through Kyah Simon in the 12th minute – a floated ball into the area found the head of the Matildas star but her glancing header went just side of the post.

At the other end, Victory nearly broke the deadlock themselves five minutes later.

Victory legend Casey Dumont – now playing for the Mariners – palmed Lia Privitelli’s shot over the crossbar.

There was a glorious opportunity for the Mariners to hit the front within seconds of the second half getting underway.

China international Wurigumula found Simon unmarked with the goal at her mercy, however, the Mariners forward somehow skied her attempt over the crossbar.

Victory star and Matildas midfielder Alex Chidiac fizzed a thunderous low effort agonisingly wide of the post 25 minutes from the end.

Simon had another chance to break the deadlock, this time in the final minute of regulation time but she was unable to make sufficient contact with the ball as the match approaching extra time.

In the third minute of extra time, Rachel Lowe found herself unmarked in the six-yard box but the Victory forward’s header went wide of the post then Chidiac forced a low diving save from Dumont four minutes later.

The Mariners somehow escaped without conceding thanks to a goal-line clearance from Isabel Gomez after Lowe also put the ball into the back of the net four minutes into the second half of extra time.

Victory goalkeeper Courtney Newbon made a double save to sensationally thwart Wurigumula before Kurea Okino rounded Dumont at the other end but her shot was blocked as the match exploded into life.

In the shoot-out, Central Coast were flawless as Dumont spoiled the party for Victory on home soil.