Giancarlo Gallifuoco celebrates his matchwinning goal for Central Coast.
Giancarlo Gallifuoco celebrates his matchwinning goal for Central Coast.

Mariners clinch first clean sheet in almost two years

Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti produced several crucial saves for Central Coast, who kept their first clean sheet in 39 A-League matches to beat Western United 1-0 in Gosford.

United created most of the chances, especially in Sunday evening's first half, but were off target or denied by Birighitti.

The sole goal came in the 49th minute when a shot from Giancarlo Gallifuoco deflected off United defender Aaron Calver.

United had two penalty shouts for handball in the second half, but neither was given.

It is the first time the Mariners have kept a side goalless since round 21 in February 2018.

The new franchise suffered back-to-back losses for the first time and their first away defeat.

Western United’s Panagiotis Kone laments a missed opportunity after the final whistle.
Western United’s Panagiotis Kone laments a missed opportunity after the final whistle.

The Mariners' second win of the season lifts them from last to sixth, one spot and three points behind United.

Central Coast started brightly with Tommy Oar putting an audacious chip just over the bar.

From that point, United created the best first-half chances, with the visitors' star imports all having attempts.

Alessandro Diamanti had a free-kick saved by Birighitti and fired another fierce shot just wide, while Panagiotis Kone blazed over from close range and Ziggy Gordon cleared an Andrew Durante header off the line.

United had further chances after halftime, with Besart Berisha missing one from close range and having another effort saved brilliantly before being replaced just after the hour.

Sam Silvera shot straight at Filip Kurto and Jack Clisby almost doubled the Mariners' lead, but his long-range attempt was tipped away superbly by Kurto. Birighitti preserved the lead by saving an 80th-minute effort from substitute Max Burgess and Diamanti fired another attempt wide.

 

 

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