Mariners beat Adelaide for finals berth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mariners beat Adelaide for finals berth

11/05/2005 10:10:01 PM Comments (0)

The Central Coast Mariners are through to the final of the FIFA Club World Championship qualifiers after romping to a 4-0 win over Adelaide United in Gosford on Wednesday night.

The home team had striker Nick Mrdja to thank after he netted a brilliant hattrick, scoring in the 23rd, 42nd and 65th minutes at the Express Advocate Stadium.

It was all the home team once Mrdja netted the first goal from the penalty spot after Adelaide's Richie Alagich was penalised for handling in the box.

Stewart Petrie, who was in doubt for the game after injuring his hamstring in Saturday's first-round match against the Newcastle Jets, then booted in a cross from the left flank to give the locals a commanding two-goal lead in the 27th minute.

Adelaide's Chinese marquee player Shengqing Qu came close to reducing the deficit in the 36th minute but he saw his header well saved by Mariners goalkeeper John Crawley.

Just before halftime the Mariners inflicted more pain on Adelaide when Mrdja beat Adelaide goalkeeper Daniel Beltrame after a fine cross from John Hutchinson.

Adelaide replaced former Socceroo Carl Veart with young striker Chad Bugeja but the substitution failed to ignite the visitors.

Then in the 65th minute Mrdja beat three Adelaide defenders before rounding off Beltrame to complete his hattrick.

The goal brought smiles to the face of Mrdja, who only days before was heavily criticised for his lunge on Jets defender Andrew Durante who broke his leg in the tackle.

The Mariners now travel to Adelaide to take on the winner of Perth Glory and Sydney FC in Sunday's final.

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