Bojic brace fires Mariners
A Pedj Bojic brace has given Central Coast Mariners a 2-0 win against Melbourne Heart on Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium.
A rare Pedj Bojic brace has secured the Central Coast Mariners a 2-0 win against the Melbourne Heart on Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium.
Bojic sent the home side into the lead in the 49th minute after Heart keeper Clint Bolton - one of the most consistent custodians in the A-League - let a long-range Bojic drive slip from his grasp.
Bojic's strike from 26 metres out on an angle appeared to only require a regulation save but the ball slipped through Bolton's hands, then his legs and over the goal line.
Bolton was beaten again as Bojic produced a dipping free kick past Heart's defensive wall and fired the Mariners to a fourth straight win.
Heart had a quartet of players returning after their win against Perth in the form of Aziz Behich, Richard Garcia, Michael Marrone (all Socceroo duty) and Dylan Macallister, after Josip Tadic was a late withdrawal through a back injury.
The Mariners were more settled with Matt Ryan and Tomas Rogic having returned from the East Asian Cup Qualifying tournament.
Graham Arnold's men had an early free kick saved by 37-year-old Bolton who was put to work early by Bojic when he struck from 25 metres out.
In the 15th minute the Heart had their first chance on goal when Bojic misjudged the bounce of a cross from Melbourne's Richard Garcia.
However, Heart striker Dylan Macallister wasn't able to finish from close range.
Central Coast had chances to open their account late in the half but Heart fought valiantly as deflections from Patrick Gerhardt, after a cross from Bojic, and a Simon Colosimo effort when Daniel McBreen went close kept the visitors level.
Bernie Ibini and returning Socceroo Tomas Rogic were also Mariners who had opportunities to score in the first half.
After Bojic's first goal the Heart had chances in quick succession in the 57th and 58th minute when first Macallister attempted to lift a shot over Matt Ryan before substitute Nick Kalmar attempted an audacious chip from near the centre circle.
Bojic's second goal followed before Heart substitute Golgol Mebrahtu, a goal scorer last weekend, had the visitors' best chance for the night in the 79th minute, shooting wide after a run down the left channel.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Bojic 49, 69) Melbourne Heart 0
Crowd: 6921 @ Bluetongue Stadium