Appiah’s delight at snapping 52-game ‘curse’

Central Coast Mariners winger Kwabena Appiah has conceded he “did lose a bit of faith” before finally breaking his Hyundai A-League goal drought last week.

In his 52nd Hyundai A-League appearance, Appiah struck with 11 minutes remaining against Adelaide United on Sunday, converting from a tight angle to double the Mariners’ advantage in Canberra before Central Coast held on to win 2-1.

Hyundai A-League Round 19 stats preview

The sense of relief was palpable from the 24-year-old as he wheeled away to celebrate at GIO Stadium, and speaking to reporters on Tuesday he revealed how hard it had been waiting for his maiden A-League goal.

“I’ve got to be honest,” he said.

“I kind of did lose a bit of faith here and there but I guess perseverance paid off.”

Appiah added: “I started to think if I was cursed, I was going to start going to – I don’t know – a psychiatrist to see if there was something wrong with me.

“I just couldn’t believe that I’d scored and I’m happy to have got the monkey off my back.”

Appiah’s goal came after he surged from the Mariners’ half past a couple of opponents.

The New Zealand-born speedster crossed for Josh Bingham, who’s shot was saved, but Appiah followed up and side-footed the ball inside the far post.

Appiah made his A-League debut in 2012 for Western Sydney Wanderers and spent two-and-a-half years in Wanderland, plus 18 months at Wellington Phoenix, before heading to Central Coast this season.

While he scored in the FFA Cup for Wellington in 2015, an A-League goal had eluded him until last week and it came for the club where he was a youth player in 2011-12.

“I’ve always had something for this club [the Mariners],” Appiah said.

Connor Pain and Kwabena Appiah celebrate a Mariners goal.

“When I left after the youth team, I still kept in touch with the boys here that were here, and even the staff here as well.”

Having won consecutive games for the first time since 2014, Central Coast are hoping to make a late surge for the A-League finals.

With nine matches remaining in the regular season, the Mariners sit ninth on 16 points, just five behind sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.

Central Coast visit Western Sydney on Sunday full of confidence. 

“If we get three points this weekend against Western Sydney Wanderers… we’ll only be two points off and that’s when we can start thinking, you know, we can really make something happen,” Appiah said.

Central Coast Mariners players celebrate Kwabena Appiah's goal in their win over Adelaide United.

The Mariners haven’t played in the A-League finals since the 2013-14 season when they were eliminated at the semi-final stage.