January 11, 2013
Arnold sent off as Mariners, Victory draw
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has apologised for his send-off over comments directed at match officials during his side's brave 1-1 A-League draw with Melbourne Victory in Launceston on Saturday.
Arnold admitted the frustration of watching his side torn apart by the Victory in the first half caused him to say something which the fourth official, linesman and referee Jarred Gillett took offence with.
After conferring with his other officials, Gillett marched Arnold from the Aurora Stadium sideline just before halftime, and just after the Victory had taken a 1-0 lead.
"I apologise - it was mainly down to frustration at our poor performance in the first half," Arnold said, refusing to divulge what the offending comment was.
"It was the first time in two and a half years I've had to go off my head at halftime (at his players) ... I said something (to the officials) I shouldn't have said, and I'll cop whatever."
As well as a $1,000 team fine for a red card - standard practice at the Mariners - Arnold is also likely to face some form of A-League disciplinary action.
But far more productive was Arnold's halftime spray for his below-par competition leaders.
They responded by cancelling out Marcos Flores' first half goal with a Daniel McBreen penalty 13 minutes from time in a much improved second half.
The Victory were left rueing their waste in front of goal after shredding the Mariners in a superb first 45 minutes.
After a week in which sundry Mariners have been linked with being sold abroad, the team spent the first half looking exactly like a shop window - full of mannequins, many without heads.
Victory's cut and thrust pinned the Mariners deep in their territory for the entire first 45 minutes and Flores deservedly put the Victory ahead just before the break.
But before that Marco Rojas shaved the post with a poorly-taken penalty which should have given them an early lead, and Archie Thompson missed from in front when it would have been easier to score.
Arnold praised his side's character-filled second half fightback, pressing for an equaliser after shaking off Victory's hugely effective pressing game in midfield which had troubled them in the first.
Both goalkeepers made extraordinary saves midway through the second half - Victory's Nathan Coe first pulling off a magic reflex save to deny busy Michael McGlinchey on 63 minutes.
Then two minutes later, Central Coast's Mat Ryan twice stopped Rojas - the second time twisting mid-air to turn over the New Zealander's audacious chip.
The Mariners eventually found a lifeline when Victory skipper Adrian Leijer clumsily bundled over McGlinchey, with McBreen slotting home the spot-kick.
Victory coach Ange Postecoglou felt his side should have had all three points wrapped up by halftime, but remained positive his team was progressing the right way.
"We were outstanding in the first half and probably didn't finish it off as we should have.
"But this team's still evolving and maybe we're lacking a bit of self-belief as a group as to how good we could be."
The Mariners now hold a two-point advantage atop the table, with the Victory remaining third.
|Melbourne Victory||Central Coast Mariners|
|39 Nathan Coe||1 Matthew Ryan|
|5 Mark Milligan||6 Patrick Zwaanswijk|
|23 Adrian Leijer||4 Pedj Bojic|
|3 Adama Traore||3 Joshua Rose|
|13 Diogo Ferreira||5 Zachary Anderson|
|24 Nicholas Ansell||18 Nick Montgomery|
|14 Billy Celeski||7 John Hutchinson|
|21 Spase Dilevski||14 Michael McGlinchey|
|11 Marcos Rojas||2 Daniel McBreen|
|9 Marcos Flores||23 Adam Kwasnik|
|10 Archie Thompson||21 Mile Sterjovski|
|1 Tando Velaphi||Justin Pasfield 20|
|8 Jonathan Bru||Brent Griffiths 13|
|6 Leigh Broxham||Oliver Bozanic 11|
|26 Andrew Nabbout||Bernie Ibini-Isei 9|
|Leigh Broxham for Nicholas Ansell (46)||Oliver Bozanic for Nick Montgomery (39)|
|Jonathan Bru for Spase Dilevski (62)||Bernie Ibini-Isei for Adam Kwasnik (46)|
|Andrew Nabbout for Marcos Rojas (82)||Brent Griffiths for Mile Sterjovski (90)|
|Billy Celeski (46)||Nick Montgomery (6)|
|Adrian Leijer (65)||Oliver Bozanic (68)|
|Diogo Ferreira (70)||Patrick Zwaanswijk (87)|
|· Squads: Melbourne Victory | Central Coast Mariners|