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Mariners through to another semi-final

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The Central Coast Mariners have advanced to yet another A-League Semi-Final as they managed a 1-0 victory in a tight match against Adelaide United at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night.

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The result sends the Mariners through to an incredible seventh semi-final/qualifying final, and keeps Adelaide’s away finals losing streak intact.

After a midweek Champions League match the Mariners made four changes, with Bernie Ibini and Eddie Bosnar coming in as starters, keeping the team fresh.

Adelaide also made two changes with Jeronimo and Jon McKain coming in and Bruce Djite starting on the match after suffering with an injury for the week.

Adelaide started the match well, and they had their first chance of the match as the ball was cleared for a corner, which allowed Osama Malik to get a header away, which was well saved by an on form Liam Reddy.

It was almost a replay of the Mariners’ work against Brisbane last week, with Adelaide holding possession but the Mariners counter attack posing problems, however with more on the line for Adelaide the Reds were proving much more dangerous.

Isaias had a chance in the 16th minute as a Josh Rose miscue turned over possession to Adelaide but he sent his effort over the bar before Fabio Ferreira sent in a cross for Jeronimo which couldn’t find the striker.

At the 20th minute Adelaide ramped up their intensity further but the Mariners defense was proving much too strong to break down as Jeronimo’s effort deflected off of Strom Roux but was again denied by Reddy, who continued his stunning form.

In the 38th minute a touching tribute to 20 year old Australian starlet, Dylan Tombides rang out through Central Coast Stadium as fans applauded for the 38th minute, Tombides’ number at West Ham, as they honored his passing overnight before the half time whistle sounded with the match scoreless.

The Mariners started the second half well with Ibini and Mitchell Duke linking up well to allow Duke to get a shot away which was comfortably saved by Eugene Galekovic.

Just before the hour Ibini had a chance as Roux and Anthony Caceres teamed up to play Ibini through but he was denied by a quick save from Galekovic.

Ibini did not have to wait long as he got his goal in the 67th minute as a ball seemed too far for Mitchell Duke who was able cushion it back for an on-rushing Ibini who controlled and slammed past Galekovic for the goal.

Adelaide attacked in the final 20 minutes but Reddy was continuing to be incredible in the Mariners net repelling everything that came his way.

The match threatened to boil over late on as John Hutchinson and Awer Mabil clashed but Ben Williams quickly intervened sorting out the mess without needing his cards.

Adelaides late efforts were repelled to the Mariners who are now just one game away from a fifth Grand Final appearance in nine years.

The Semi-Final line up was sealed after the Mariners win with a rematch of last year’s Grand Final in the next round as the Mariners take on Western Sydney at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday with the second semi-final pitting Melbourne Victory against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

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