Moment to remember for Mariners midfielder as Central Coast march on in front of Matildas boss

Central Coast Mariners made it back-to-back wins in the Liberty A-League, defeating Adelaide United 2-0 to cement their spot in the top six.

Tiarna Karambasis scored her first ever Liberty A-League goal in the 50th minute to give the Mariners the lead before Wurigumula sealed the win midway through the second half on Sunday.

The result at Industree Group Stadium – where Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson was a keen onlooker – leaves Emily Husband’s Central Coast in fifth spot on the ladder, but crucially, they hold a four-point buffer inside the finals positions.

Gustvasson, who recently revealed he planned to prioritise watching specific individuals live in the Liberty A-League, was seen talking to Mariners forward Kyah Simon on the pitch at full time.

Furthermore, Gustavsson’s recent glowing praise of A-Leagues clubs and their development of young talent could mean the Matildas boss will be keeping a keen eye on plenty of young players whilst here.

As for Adelaide, the Reds remain second bottom in the standings after suffering what was their 10th defeat of the campaign.

The Mariners donned their brilliant pink jerseys at Industree Group Stadium for the clash, partnering with the McGrath Foundation for what is the 12th edition of the club’s ‘Pink Round’ – an initiative aimed at helping raise essential funds to support families across Australia experiencing breast cancer.

Mariners goalkeeper Sarah Langman produced a fine save in the 32nd minute, diving to her left to deny Isabel Hodgson the opening goal after the Adelaide forward let fly from the edge of the box.

Langman was then called into action from the resulting corner, this time reacting well to save Maruschka Waldus’ towering header.

Central Coast side then had the best chance of the first half and should have broken the deadlock in the 41st minute but Paige Hayward missed the target altogether, failing to trouble the Adelaide goal after she was picked out by an excellent pull-back from Isabel Gomez.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 50th minute and it was the home fans who were cheering.

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A deflected strike from Kyah Simon bounced into the box and into the path of Karambasis who’s persistence paid off as she out-muscled the Adelaide defenders before poking the ball beyond the on-rushing Annalee Grove to score her first Liberty A-League goal.

The home side then doubled their lead in the 64th minute as Wurigumula took her tally to six goals for the campaign, firing into an unguarded net after Reds’ keeper Grove mis-judged a cross into the box and punched the ball into the path of the China international.

Langman was then called into action in the 80th minute, thwarting Adelaide’s Hodgson with another top save as she tipped the ball round her far post and away to safety.

After the game, Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson was spotted deep in conversation with Matildas forward Kyah Simon down on the touchline.

Speaking after the Matildas’ recent win over Uzbekistan which booked them a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, Gustavsson was clear on the role the Liberty A-League plays when it comes to moulding his national team.

“We need to understand as a national team coach you pick players who have been developed in club land,” said Tony and you try to make the best out of the players you have. Put the right players in the right position with the right mindset.

“But if it wasn’t for the phenomenal job that the clubs do, they couldn’t perform like this. I really want to credit the work that all the clubs are doing with the players to prepare them for this because it’s amazing.

“Then if we can add more investment to those clubs to be given more resources, more time and more professional players, I think we have seen the beginning of Australian football.”