Ronald Barcellos Scores Late Winner as Mariners Edge Macarthur in AFC Cup

Central Coast Mariners narrowly defeated Macarthur FC 3-2 in an exhilarating ASEAN Zonal final of the AFC Cup™ 2023/24 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Thursday. The match saw a late winner from Ronald Barcellos in the final minute of extra time, securing their place in an Inter-Zone semi-final clash against India’s Odisha FC in March.

Macarthur skipper Ulises Davila equalized for the home team in the 89th minute, cancelling out Angel Torres’ 81st-minute goal for the Mariners. Lachlan Rose’s goal for Macarthur was then countered by Mikael Doka’s effort from distance, setting the stage for Barcellos’ dramatic winner.

The match was full of action from the beginning, with both teams showing their determination from the outset. Valere Germain tested Mariners goalkeeper Daniel Vukovic within the first 35 seconds, and Christian Theoharous made Vukovic’s Macarthur counterpart Filip Kurto work at the other end just four minutes in.

Central Coast Mariners took control in the first half, with a few close calls, but the match remained goalless at halftime. The second half saw more chances for both sides, but it wasn’t until the 81st minute that Angel Torres broke the deadlock, putting the Mariners ahead. Macarthur equalized in the 89th minute, but Ronald Barcellos’ late strike in extra time secured the Mariners’ victory and their spot in the Inter-Zone semi-finals.

With this win, Central Coast Mariners will face India’s Odisha FC in the Inter-Zone semi-final in March, continuing their quest for the AFC Cup™ 2023/24 title.

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