Tomas Rogic of the Mariners competes with Emmanuel Muscat of the Phoenix during the round 20 A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium on February 18, 2012 in Gosford, Australia. Photo: Getty Images
CANBERRA'S wonder kid has done it again.
And this time, Tomas Rogic's sensational 52nd-minute strike proved crucial as Central Coast Mariners snapped their two-game losing streak in last night's A-League clash with a 2-0 win against Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium.
Rogic's left-foot curler from the edge of the box cemented the former Belconnen United player as one of the hottest young prospects in the A-League.
The 19-year-old scored a similarly spectacular goal in a 2-1 loss against Melbourne Victory nine days ago, his first in the A-League.
Last night's effort, along with a late header from Patrick Zwaanswijk, puts the Mariners back on track for the minor premiership after the club appeared to be suffering some late-season jitters.
The Mariners dominated the fixture from the opening whistle with Rogic, midfielder Michael McGlinchey and English striker John Sutton, in his A-League debut, all threatening early.
The Phoenix barely threatened in the first half, with Chris Greenacre's 21st minute volley that sailed over as close as the visitors got. Rogic broke the deadlock early in the second half with a curling effort from the edge of the area that gave Phoenix goalkeeper Mark Paston no chance.
From there the Phoenix rallied, with Greenacre drawing a good save from Justin Pasfield before Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson's crucial challenge halted another promising attack by the New Zealand club.
Central Coast coach Graham Arnold was mostly pleased after the match but was disappointed that his side couldn't take full advantage of early opportunities.
''I thought the football performance tonight was first class. It's great to see us play like that again,'' Arnold said.
After arriving in the country just over a week ago, Arnold was pleased with the efforts of Sutton who managed to play 88 minutes before being replaced.
''I knew what I was getting, and he's the type of player I wanted to give us something totally different to what we've got,'' Arnold said.
''After Matty Simon left we didn't really have the type of player who could hold the ball up.
''The boys have only had two or three real good tactical sessions with him since he has been here, but I thought his performance was excellent.'' AAP
AT A GLANCE
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 2 (Tomas Rogic 52m, Patrick Zwaanswijk 83m) bt WELLINGTON PHOENIX 0 at Bluetongue Stadium. Crowd: 7,845. Referee: Strebre Delovski.