Match Report: Wanderers 0 - Mariners 0

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight had a 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners in their first ever Hyundai A-League match.

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight had a 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners in their first ever Hyundai A-League match.

Played in front of 10,468 fans at Parramatta Stadium it was a great sight to see so much red and black around the pitch.

Although not able to breakthrough and get that first goal and a victory, Coach Tony Popovic was happy with the end result.

“We-re happy,” Popovic said. “It-s been such a big build up for the club as a whole both on and off the pitch so we-re pleased with the way it went tonight.”

“Of course we would have liked to have got the win but we fought hard and we can build on this.

“The Mariners have a settled side, they have had a lot of guys together for a while now, we are here to compete and will look to fight every week.”

The opening 20 minutes saw both sides looking to find their feet with no real opportunities presenting themselves. Aaron Mooy and Mateo Poljak started the match in convincing fashion controlling the middle of the park and providing good distribution as the Wanderers looked to move forward.

After 29 minutes Croatian Dino Kresinger was brought down 20 yards out and referee Alan Milliner had no choice but to award the free kick. From there Mooy took the chance from the 20-yard mark and troubled Ryan once more with a floating shot.

It was in the 37th minute that the Wanderers had their first real opportunity. It was some counter-attack from the Wanderers that saw German Jerome Polenz push the ball forward to Mark Bridge who sent the ball to his left and forward Labinot Haliti had only Mariners goal keeper Matt Ryan to beat but the former Newcastle Jet put it straight into his legs and was denied.

As both sides went to the break it was time for both Coaches to readjust as the weather turned ugly with a lot of rain falling over Parramatta.

It was in the 60th minute where the crowd raised as one as they witnessed Shinji Ono enter the field. He replaced Labinot Haliti and had an immediate impact. His touch on the ball was all class and he provided a lot composure in the centre of the park that we look forward to seeing a lot more as the season rolls on.

At the same stage Dutchman Youssouf Hersi was replaced by Kwabena Appiah-Kubi and he also added some extra pace down the right hand side.

In the 68th minute it was Ono-s first shot but he unfortunately pushed it over the target and didn-t cause any concern to the Mariners goal keeper.

The final minutes saw the Wanderers on the defence with the Mariners looking to break the deadlock. It was good composure from Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Captain Michael Beauchamp who rallied the troops and held the Mariners out.

In what was a momentous occasion for the Wanderers it will be one tha the squad will reflect on momentarily but the focus will quickly shift to their next match against Adelaide United next Friday at Hindmarsh Stadium.