In a significant victory on Saturday night at Industree Group Stadium, the Central Coast Mariners edged out Wellington Phoenix with a 1-0 triumph in the Liberty A-League.
This win marks the Mariners’ first home victory since rejoining the competition, ending Wellington’s three-game winning streak.
The hero of the night emerged in the form of Annalise Rasmussen, a local academy product and the Mariners’ inaugural signing.
Rasmussen sealed the deal with a decisive goal in the 76th minute, securing all three crucial points for her team.
The Mariners asserted their dominance early in the match, applying pressure on the away side with several half chances. Peta Trimis narrowly missed the mark in the eighth minute, while Wellington registered their first shot on target in the 10th minute.
The ensuing 20 minutes unfolded as a hard-fought battle, with neither side able to carve out clear-cut opportunities for a one-goal advantage.
Galic’s shot on target in the 39th minute set the tone, followed by a near-screamer from long range that eluded the post by inches.
Jazmin Wardlow’s cross, deflected by a Wellington defender, set the stage for a formidable strike from Galic, leaving Rylee Foster helpless as the ball whizzed past the goal.
Courtney Newbon showcased her goalkeeping prowess, denying Emma Main’s strike destined for the underside of the crossbar, maintaining a level score at half-time.
As the second half commenced, both teams continued their quest for the elusive opening goal. Wurigumula came close in the 69th minute, showcasing skill and precision, but her rocket shot soared just over the crossbar.
Unexpectedly, Wurigumula transitioned from potential goal-scorer to playmaker as the Mariners seized the lead.
Isabel Gomez’s display of strength and determination won the ball, setting the stage for a counter attack. Trimis, receiving a pass from Gomez, found Wurigumula in space, who directed the ball towards goal.
Amidst Wellington defenders, Wurigumula adeptly located the advancing Rasmussen, who clinically netted the ball from 10 yards out, etching her name in the club’s history.
The goal, arriving in the 76th minute, carried sentimental value, as Rasmussen’s journey began in the Mariners academy at the age of 11.
In the final minutes of the match, resolute defending ensured the preservation of the historic three points, concluding the encounter with a 1-0 victory for the Central Coast Mariners.
After their triumph, the Mariners will turn their attention to their upcoming away game against Melbourne Victory next Sunday afternoon.
Melbourne Victory currently shares equal points, having played an additional game.