Max Burgess scored a hatty to send him to the top of Marvin’s hit list while Gianni Stensness nailed a bicycle kick that brought a bit of joy to hardened Mariners fans, all as streams everywhere were muted denying us the chance to listen to the brilliant Teo Pellizzeri.
It was a goal fest in Geelong that we didn’t expect yet somehow all deserved. I certainly didn’t see it coming.
I mean, sure, United are hoping for a Finals push and coming up against bottom of the table Mariners should be the lift they needed but I was still expecting this match to be a hard slog… for me to watch.
At times it was as I didn’t mute the commentary. It’s my own fault really, but Teo brought the goods when I needed that pick me up.
Eight goals though. Almost made up for Archie.
Bes broke the seal in the 9th minute, rising above a crowded box to connect with Alessandro Diamanti’s free kick to make it 1-0. I’ll just say, I miss Bes playing for Brisbane. Wonder where he’ll be playing next season…?
Just 10 minutes pass and it’s a pen up the other end. Tomislav Uskok basically reaching for the ball in the box and it’s a clear pen to the Mariners. Chris Harold levelled the scores with ease as Filip Kurto goes the wrong way in the 19th.
Suddenly, it’s Burgess time. Praised throughout the season for his performances on the pitch and earning the respect of neutrals on Twitter, Burgess opened his HAL scoring account in a big way with a hat-trick.
His first was from the edge of the box, low and bottom corner bound in the 25th. It was a shot that Mark Birighitti probably should have saved given the agility we’ve seen from him this season.
His second felt more deliberate, low and across the face of goal in the 30th. His third, a calm tap in in the 43rd. Berisha cut through Mariners’ CBs like room temperature butter (it’s been a long weekend, ok) before getting his shot away only to hit the post. Burgess tapping in the rebound just highlights the struggles with CCM’s defence.
As Mariners fans switched to something a little stronger to dull the pain, Stensness gave them a moment of hope.
United failed to clear the corner and left Stensness unmarked, giving him all the space he needed in the box to deliver a stunning BICYCLE KICK to make it 4-2 on the stroke of half time.
HT: WUN 4-2 CCM
United didn’t slow down in the second half and bagged their fifth in the 61st minute. Diamanti delivered a cross to the far post as Andrew Durante came in flying who looked like he got a little flick on the ball while in the air.
At first glance Birgihitti pulled off a brilliant save, and it would have been had he not been deep within his own net and the ball had already crossed the line.
It was a tough game for Birgihitti who did pull off some great saves but Bes made sure he had six black marks against his name before FT.
Gunning for the box as Josh Risdon made his run down the right, Bes was in the right place at the right time to tap in Risdon’s cross in the 89th minute.
The win puts Western United two points behind Brisbane Roar who sit in 6th at time of writing while Mariners further cemented their position for the wooden spoon.
FT: WUN 6-2 CCM
By Bree Reidy