The Central Coast Mariners are hunting a first victory over Melbourne Victory in some 2,664 days on Sunday night, but VAR had other ideas.

Victory opened the scoring through Kiki Dobras in the eighth minute, his heavily deflected shot from the edge of the area leaving Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti stranded.

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Mariners striker Jordan Murray hit the equaliser on the stroke of half-time with a powerful header, just his second goal of the season.

As the hosts pushed forward to end their 18-game winless run against Victory, it looked as though defender Kye Rowles had put the Mariners in front when he blasted the ball into the net from close range following a scramble in the box.

But his 52nd-minute strike was ruled out by VAR due to a tight offside.

VAR was at it again in the 67th minute as veteran Central Coast striker Matt Simon was brought down in the box when an aerial ball was played in his direction.

But the referee waved off the Mariners’ loud appeals, booking Milan Duric for his complaints. Fans chanted ‘VAR’ repeatedly, but the video referee checked the decision before agreeing with the on-field referee.

Kye Rowles’s unlucky afternoon worsened when he was the victim of a cruel own goal in the 78th minute.

Adama Traore’s misdirected cross from out wide bounced off the far post and a retreating Rowles bundled it into his own net.


Central Coast’s last Hyundai A-League win against Victory came in April 2013; they’ve managed just four draws in their 18 meetings since (L14).

Victory are on the brink of the finals fight in sixth, equal on points with Adelaide United.

Meanwhile the Mariners are second-last, but still just five points behind Victory and with a game in hand. They have just one win from their last five games.


Sunday, 12 January 2020

Kick-off: 6pm AEDT

Venue: Central Coast Stadium

Broadcast: FOX Sports 505

Stream: Kayo Sports


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