Advertisement

Mariners seal treble in extra-time ALM win over Victory

Unheralded striker Ryan Edmondson has written himself into A-League Men folklore after his late double clinched an A-League Men championship for treble-winning Central Coast Mariners with a 3-1 extra-time triumph over Melbourne Victory.

Edmondson's prolific finishing brought the Mariners back from the dead at Industree Group Stadium on Saturday as Victory looked nailed on to win the title.

A well-taken strike from Jason Geria had put Tony Popovic's side ahead in front of a 21,379-strong crowd in Gosford.

But Edmondson, who was subbed on for Alou Kuol at halftime, struck in the 91st minute to send the game into extra-time.

Ryan Edmondson
Ryan Edmondson celebrates one of his two goals that won the day for the Mariners. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

Miguel Di Pizio further strengthened the Mariners' grip on the championship before Edmondson clinched the result with a 121st minute goal that prompted a pitch invasion from the home fans.

"To say that's my first grand final, it's not a bad one," said Edmondson, who only arrived in Gosford from third-tier club Carlisle United in January

"It's one that's going to stick with me for a long period of time.

"I started crying at the full-time whistle and then everything from there is a blur."

The result caps a remarkable season for the Mariners, who became the first Australian side to win a treble.

First-year coach Mark Jackson has taken the competition by storm, sealing a championship to go with the ALM premiership and AFC Cup the Mariners picked up earlier this month.

Edmondson was named winner of the Joe Marston Medal as the player of the match after his last-gasp heroics extended Victory's six-year wait for the competition's most-coveted prize.

"What a fantastic evening for this club and the supporters - it's an amazing achievement, those players never give in," Jackson said.

"I'm confident when Ryan doesn't start he can come on and make an impact and he did that tonight.

CCM players celebrate Ryan Edmondson's late equaliser.
Central Coast celebrate Edmondson's late equaliser that sent the grand final to extra time. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

"I had him as a 16-year-old at Leeds United, he showed the quality tonight, but it was about the collective.

While the Mariners were rejoicing, Victory boss Tony Popovic was left cursing his luck.

Saturday's game was his fifth grand final as coach, and his fifth defeat.

"For our boys, it's tough to take," Popovic said.

"You concede right in injury time… in extra-time it's one moment and they took theirs.

"In the end, we lost in extra-time, that's how close we came.

"I haven't been able to win one so far, and that's something I've got to try and change."

Victory should have established a stronger buffer after Daniel Arzani and Jordi Valadon teamed up to set up Geria, the rightback rifling in from the edge of the box to put the away side ahead.

The Mariners' luck looked to have run out as they searched for a late equaliser, but somehow Josh Nisbet slipped a ball away to Edmondson who hit home and sent a record crowd berserk.

From there, the Mariners went to another level as Victory's players began to fade.

Nisbet split the Victory defence with a pass which was turned back toward Di Pizio to put the home side head in the 97th minute.

Victory threw everything forward in pursuit of an equaliser but they left themselves vulnerable to the counter attack, Edmondson ramming home a second goal to seal the win, the title and the treble.