Saturday, November 17, 2012
Arnold happy with draw for Mariners
By Greg Buckle
Central Coast Mariners slipped to second on the A-League table but coach Graham Arnold still left Etihad Stadium with a smile on his face following a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory.The Mariners' run of three successive wins ended on Saturday night but the draw was a solid result for the visitors after they were reduced to 10 men at the 50-minute mark following a second yellow card for defender Patrick Zwaanswijk, who picked up a first-half yellow for time-wasting.Daniel McBreen, 35, lifted his tally to seven goals for the season by scoring twice for the Mariners in the first 22 minutes.The Victory equalised twice in front of a crowd of 19,462 through teenager Andrew Nabbout in the 10th minute and Mark Milligan's header in the 40th minute.But Arnold's soldiers lined up two walls of four defenders after being reduced to 10 men and they repelled wave after wave of attack through a tense final 40 minutes, with Trent Sainsbury producing a goal-line clearance from a close-range shot by Marco Rojas."Yeah very happy. Melbourne Victory is a very good side," Arnold said."Ange (Postecoglou) is a fantastic coach and the way he's got them playing is great to see."There won't be many teams that come down to Melbourne and take any points, the way that they're going."Our boys showed wonderful character, great discipline in defence."Away from home it's not our job to entertain the supporters."Arnold said he hadn't seen the incident which led to Zwaanswijk's second yellow card for elbowing Marcos Flores."All I heard was Mark Rudan and Mark Bosnich saying on TV that it was a joke," Arnold said.Postecoglou said the 50th-minute send-off had wrecked the rhythm of the game."We're probably not at the stage as a team where we can really capitalise on having the extra man," the Victory coach said."We had some pretty young boys out there tonight at different stages. We're playing the team everyone pretty much regards as the best in the comp."Postecoglou said having key attackers Gui Finkler (groin) and Archie Thompson out of the side were huge blows.Socceroos striker Thompson was a late withdrawal with a gastro complaint after struggling during the warm-up.Postecoglou praised the nonstop performance of the elusive 21-year-old Rojas, who had played 70 minutes in an international friendly for New Zealand on Wednesday in China.But Postecoglou said Flores' needless tackle on Sainsbury which led to a second yellow card and a send-off in the 90th minute was a stupid act.The Victory have three wins and a draw from their past five matches and face Western Sydney at Parramatta Stadium next Saturday night."There's still some schoolboy stuff we need to get rid of, particularly defensively," Postecoglou said.The Mariners host a grudge match against defending champions Brisbane Roar next Sunday.