Mariners' dramatic late A-League win

Pamela Whaley
Central Coast have come from nowhere to beat Melbourne Victory 3-2 in a dramatic A-League match

Central Coast have come back for a thrilling, drama-filled 3-2 A-League win over Melbourne Victory in Gosford.

Two late Matt Simon penalties on Sunday night in injury time were the difference as Victory spoiled a 2-1 lead with two minutes to go in regular time.

The drama escalated further after Simon slotted his second, as players from both sides clashed in an ugly confrontation and Victory coach Marco Kurz was red-carded.

"It's part of the football game - everybody wants to win," the German manager said later.

"If you are 2-1 winning and concede two penalties in overtime, it's normal that you have some emotions and that was part of the game today."

The match was level 1-1 at the 78th-minute mark when Victory's Adama Traore drove the ball into the box, but it rebounded of Kye Rowles into the net for an own-goal.

With Melbourne leading 2-1, James Donachie was penalised for a hand-ball in the box in the 90th minute, with Simon slotting the levelling goal in extra time - his 50th for the Mariners.

Another penalty conceded by Leigh Broxham in the box just two minutes later gave Simon a second chance to win the game, and he took it easily.

Kurz was calm and measured in the post-match media conference, although labelled the first penalty a duel and took issue with the second penalty in Simon's favour.

"We have to respect the decision from the ref," he said.

"The first was from Don (Donachie). it's very hard to defend Simon in the box. It was touching from both sides and he touched the ball with his hand but, from Brox (Broxham), it was not a penalty. That's my personal opinion."

It was a tense finish to a tough match in front of a home crowd of 4957 at Central Coast Stadium, and the first time since 2013 the Mariners had beaten Victory.

The VAR overruled a chance for the home side to go in front early in the second half when it looked as though Rowles had scored.

The 21-year-old netted an assist from Jair in front of goal, but it was pulled back when VAR ruled he was offside.

Midway through the second half, the VAR was called on again, upholding a decision by the referee not to award the Mariners a penalty when Simon was knocked over by Donachie in the box.

It angered home fans and Mariners star Milan Duric, who was yellow-carded after a showdown with the referee.

The win leaves the Mariners just two points out of the top six with genuine finals hopes.

"Just in terms of quality of football, I think we've shown we're capable of being in that finals series, but showing it and proving it and getting the results are a different story," coach Alen Stajcic said.

"We've got a lot of hard work to do to keep improving week by week.

"I've been pleased with the way we've progressed in the past few weeks."

Victory face Adelaide on Friday night, while the Mariners take on Western United in round 15.