Central Coast Mariners claim Australian treble after winning A-League grand final

GOSFORD, Australia (AP) — The Central Coast Mariners became the first team to win an Australian trophy treble after beating the Melbourne Victory 3-1 in extra time of the A-League grand final on Saturday.

Central Coast added to the premiers’ plate and the AFC Cup in front of a capacity crowd of 21,379 in Gosford, about an hour’s drive north of Sydney.

Melbourne, looking to win its first championship since 2018, opened the scoring through Jason Geria in the 50th minute.

Halftime substitute Ryan Edmondson equalized in added time. In extra time, Miguel Di Pizio put Central Coast ahead in the first half and Edmondson's second guaranteed they remained the champions. Mariners fans invaded the pitch in celebration.

Edmondson, a striker from England, received the Joe Marston Medal as the man of the match.

“This whole season we’ve had a never-say-die attitude, we never stopped believing," he said.

The Mariners joined Sydney FC (2019-20) and the Brisbane Roar (2011-12) as the only teams to win back-to-back championships in the competition’s history.

The grand final had a controversial lead-up.

On May 17 and just ahead of the semifinals, police said three A-League players were charged with match-fixing. The captain of Macarthur FC was alleged to have paid two younger teammates up to 10,000 Australian dollars ($6,600) to deliberately receive yellow cards in a scheme set up by a South American gambling connection.

The players were granted bail and will appear in court again next month.


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