Daniel McBreen ends Sydney's winning streak

Last updated 01:11 08/12/2013

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Veteran striker Daniel McBreen rediscovered his goalscoring touch as the Central Coast Mariners snapped Sydney FC's club record winning streak with a 1-0 A-League win at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.

McBreen's clever close-range backheel from a Josh Rose cross in the 26th minute settled the issue.

It was the first goal of the season for the 36-year-old forward, who won the Golden Boot last season for being the A-League's leading goal-scorer.

The victory moved the Mariners at least temporarily to fourth, one spot and two points behind Sydney, who had their four-match winning streak ended.

It was McBreen's fourth appearance of the season and just his second start in Mariners colours since finishing a stint with Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.

Sydney looked sharp early, but the Mariners midfield took control as the first half progressed, with John Hutchinson, Michael McGlinchey and Marcos Flores becoming more prominent.

The visitors had much more of the play in the second half, pushing the Mariners back deep into their own half.

Despite dominating possession against a Mariners side that seemed happy to drop deep, the Sky Blues created few chances after the break and it was Central Coast who missed at least three good opportunities in the final stages.

Former Mariner Pedj Bojic gave Sydney some thrust down the right-hand side, with the visitors creating a couple of decent early chances.

Sydney's Ali Abbas hit the post from close range in the third minute and midfielder Nick Carle had a high shot tipped over the bar by ex-Sydney goalkeeper Liam Reddy.

McBreen had a fourth-minute header saved comfortably by Vedran Janjetovic and Mitchell Duke had a goal rubbed out for offside.

After the goal, Bojic had a shot saved by Reddy, but the Mariners finished the half stronger, with Flores curling a shot wide and an unmarked McBreen missing the target with a close-range header which bounced over the bar.

In the second half, Abbas headed straight at Reddy following a good cross by Joel Chianese and Nick Carle shot wide, but Sydney lacked a cutting edge without injured superstar Alessandro Del Piero.

Matt Simon missed a glorious chance to give the Mariners a two-goal buffer when he was put right through in the 79th minute, but had his attempt foiled by the legs of Janjetovic.

Fellow substitute Mile Sterjovski hit the post with a curling shot and McGlinchey had a strong shot tipped away by Janjetovic.

Mariners coach Phil Moss was delighted with the way his players reacted to criticism following last week's goalless home draw with Melbourne Victory.

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"This week I asked for a reaction and boy did we get it in the first 45 minutes," Moss told reporters.

"The second half, I thought we probably defended a little bit too deep and gave away a little bit too much ball, so we can certainly take some stuff out of the second half to work on.

Moss said the Mariners could get a lot better and praised McBreen for his contribution and the way he took his goal.

"I thought Macca looked back to the Macca of old tonight and he was putting himself about and he was getting into some good areas in the box," Moss said.

Sydney coach Frank Farina said his side just wasn't good enough on the night, with several players below their best.

"I thought we were our own worst enemies to be honest, we can't complain about the result," Farina told reporters.

"There was no lack of effort, but we just turned over way too much possession."

Farina was pretty optimistic marquee men del Piero and Brett Emerton would return from injury for next weekend's home game with Melbourne Heart.

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Daniel McBreen 26m) Sydney FC 0 at Bluetongue Stadium. Crowd: 10,251. Referee: Peter Green


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