Mariners and Jets stay level
Nigel Boogaard scored his first A-League goal as the Central Coast Mariners fought back to share a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets in the F3 derby at Bluetongue Stadium today. The defender, celebrating his 23rd birthday, headed home five minutes after the break to cancel out Jin-Hyung Song's low strike just three minutes earlier.
The result leaves both teams level on four points at the top of the table, after they followed up opening weekend wins.
The Mariners dominated the first half, restricting the Jets to just two chances, but the home side were let down by poor finishing. Matt Simon had the ball in the net for the home side after ten minutes but his header was ruled out for offside, before John Hutchinson's free-kick rattled the post midway through the first half.
Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy kept the scores level at half-time as he brilliantly saved a close-range header from Adam Kwasnik 12 minutes before the break.
After wasting their share of chances, the home side were made to pay shortly after the restart as the 2008 champions, who finished rock-bottom last season, broke the deadlock. Sasho Petrovski flicked on Tarek Elrich's ball for Jin to fire past Mariners goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
But the lead did not last long as Boogaard rose highest to head home Michael McGlinchey's free-kick from close range. Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson had the best chance to claim all three points with the clock winding down, but headed over from Hutchinson's corner.