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2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Nicolai Müller (83')

Muller scores late winner as Western Sydney Wanderers beat Central Coast Mariners

Western Sydney handed Central Coast their first loss of the A-League season, winning a grudge encounter 1-0 in Gosford.

Nicolai Muller's all-important goal in the 83rd minute split the teams who went at each other with the presence of Ziggy Gordon fuelling passions.

Gordon had played every game of last season with the Mariners but left the club at the 11th hour to join the Wanderers.

His parting shot hurt his former teammates, saying he wanted to play with winners.

On Tuesday night he got the last laugh as the Wanderers went to the top of the A-League table, leaping over the Mariners who had won their first two matches of the season.

Mariners veteran Matt Simon made his feelings felt in the first half when a collision with Gordon sent sparks flying between the sides.

The pair clashed heads in going for the ball but with Gordon on his back, Simon lurched over and delivered a few choice words in his face before pointing his finger to make his feelings obvious to those not in earshot.

Simon avoided being booked for a boot in Gordon's ribs as well, but the incident ramped up the passion in what was a spirited contest.

Simon walked a fine line with a yellow card towards the end of the first half for an elbow to Keanu Baccus' face and he was subsequently subbed off just after the hour.

The Mariners looked the better of the teams in the first half despite a fortnight since their last match when they beat Macarthur 1-0.

They began fast putting plenty of pressure on the Wanderers, who had just three days preparation after their 1-1 draw with Sydney FC.

James Troisi had a hand in both goals on Saturday night but missed their best shot of the game early in the first half for the Wanderers.

Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was unbeaten until the 83rd minute when Muller converted.

The Wanderers meet Newcastle next Friday at McDonald Jones Stadium while the Mariners play Sydney FC in Kogarah on Friday night.