Kuol stars, Mariners beat Wanderers in ALM

Garang Kuol has put the finishing touches to his case for World Cup selection after starring in the Central Coast Mariners' 3-0 win over A-League Men high-flyers Western Sydney Wanderers.

Kuol, his teammate Jason Cummings and Western Sydney's Brandon Borrello all came into Saturday night's game as chances, but not locks, for inclusion in Graham Arnold's 26-man Socceroos squad to be announced on Tuesday.

It was 18-year-old supersub Kuol who underlined his credentials the most convincingly, twice setting-up fellow substitute Michael Ruhs at CommBank Stadium.

The Mariners wasted opportunities in a goalless first half but Kuol needed only three minutes to break the deadlock after coming on midway through the second period.

The Premier League-bound forward snuck up on and dispossessed ex-Mariner Ruon Tongyik, setting Ruhs up for a clean shot from inside the box.

Six minutes later the same pair struck again. Kuol crossed to Ruhs, who flirted with offside at point-blank range as he poked the ball into the back of the net.

"Garang came on and give us a bit of energy," said Mariners coach Nick Montgomery.

"But at the end of the day, when I look at the team's performance tonight, it's hard to pick anyone that wasn't outstanding."

Cummings was not as dangerous as in last week's win over Western United but provided the assist for Samuel Silvera late on, turning what began as a tight tussle into a comfortable victory.

"He's just such a team player," Montgomery said of Cummings.

Mariners winger Beni N'Kololo could consider himself lucky to remain on the field after catching Western Sydney's Calem Nieuwenhof with an elbow to the head as the pair jostled for the ball in the first half.

The Frenchman was shown only a yellow card, much to the anger of Wanderers coach Marko Rudan.

"I was pretty vocal at the time," Rudan said.

"Those decisions sometimes go with you, sometimes they go against you. It is what it is."

The loss was the Wanderers' first from five outings this season and breaks a brilliant run of defensive performances.

Before Saturday night, Western Sydney had conceded only one goal in a month of football but are now at risk of dropping out of second spot on the ladder by the end of the weekend.

"With and without the ball, their intensity, their tenacity, they were better than us tonight," Rudan said.

"Simple as that."