AFC Cup 2023-24: Central Coast Mariners beats Odisha FC in Inter-zonal semifinal first-leg

Mikael Doka scored a brace and also grabbed an assist, while Storm Roux and Ronald Barcellos also got on the scoresheet for Central Coast Mariners’ convincing win against Odisha FC.

Published : Mar 07, 2024 16:59 IST , Chennai - 2 MINS READ

Odisha FC players after the match.
Odisha FC players after the match. | Photo Credit: Odisha FC@X

Odisha FC players after the match. | Photo Credit: Odisha FC@X

The Central Coast Mariners cruised to a 4-0 win against Odisha FC in the first-leg of their AFC Cup 2023-24 Inter-zonal semifinal clash at the Central Coast Stadium in New South Wales on Thursday.

Defending A-League champion Central Coast Mariners came out all guns blazing right from the starting whistle, with the Juggernauts visibly inferior in every facet of the game.

The sustained pressure paid off, as the Mariners scored the contest’s opening goal in the 36th minute.

Josh Nisbet penetrated the Odisha final third and found Mikael Doka inside the box with a cutback, who made no mistake in finding the net with a first-time finish.

Urged on by the home crowd, the Mariners did not put their foot off their pedal and looked threatening every time it entered the final third. However, Sergio Lobera’s men defended in numbers to keep the deficit to just one at half-time.

AS IT HAPPENED: Central Coast Mariners vs Odisha FC highlights

The narrative of the second-half mirrored the first. Apart from sporadic patches where Odisha tried to create something in the final third, the Mariners continued to dominate the proceedings.

It got their second of the match in the 52nd minute after some beautiful combination play between half-time substitute Ryan Edmondson and Storm Roux, with the latter making a run inside the Odisha box after being played a deft through ball by Edmondson. Roux pulled a trigger, and his shot across the face of the goal beat a diving Amrinder Singh to rattled the bottom corner of the net.

Odisha’s desperation grew as the half progressed, which the Mariners capitalised on. In the 77th minute, Roy Krishna tried too hard to take the ball off Jacob Farrell and ended up catching the Mariners fullback with an extended arm, and it did not take long for the referee to blow his whistle and point to the spot.

Doka stepped up to take it and sent Amrinder the wrong way with a daring Panenka as the ball rattled the top corner of the net.

With the Juggernauts comprehensively beaten, it was the cherry on the icing for the Mariners when second-half substitute Ronald Barcellos joined the party.

In the 86th minute, Doka breezed past Amey Ranawade and found Barcellos in the middle of the box with a pinpoint pass, who poked the ball inside the net to complete the rout.

Both teams will play the second leg at the Kalinga Stadium on March 14.

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