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Central Coast Mariners seal historic treble in extra-time A-League Men win over Melbourne Victory

Miguel Di Pizio puts the Mariners ahead in extra time in Gosford on Saturday night.

Miguel Di Pizio puts the Mariners ahead in extra time in Gosford on Saturday night. Photo: Getty

Central Coast Mariners’ incredible pursuit of a treble is complete after they claimed a second successive A-League Men championship with a dramatic 3-1 extra-time win over Melbourne Victory.

The Mariners’ quest for an ALM championship looked dead and buried with Victory leading courtesy of a Jason Geria strike as the 90th minute ticked by at Gosford’s Industree Group Stadium on Saturday.

But substitute Ryan Edmondson popped up in the 91st minute to square things up and send the grand final into extra time.

Teenager Miguel Di Pizio scored seven minutes into extra time, before Edmondson added his second in the dying moments to clinch the treble for Mariners coach Mark Jackson.

The result caps a remarkable season for the Mariners, who became the first Australian side to win a treble as they added the championship to the ALM premiership and AFC Cup they picked up earlier this month.

Edmondson was named winner of the Joe Marston Medal as the player of the match after his last-gasp heroics extended Victory’s six-year wait for the competition’s most-coveted prize.

The Central Coast’s win – in front of 21, 379 fans – condemned Victory boss Tony Popovic to his fifth defeat in five attempts as a coach in a grand final.

The 23-year-old Edmondson had come off the bench at half-time.

“This whole season we’ve had a never-say-die attitude. We never stopped believing,” Edmondson said at full-time, after fans invaded the pitch in celebration.

Central Coast is the third team to win back-to-back championships in the competition’s history, after defeating Melbourne City 6-1 to win the title last season.

Sydney FC (2019, 2020) and Brisbane Roar (2011, 2012) are the other teams to have achieved the feat.

Popovic has now been denied championship success across five attempts, having previously falling short of a title with Western Sydney Wanderers (2013, 2014, 2016) and Perth Glory (2019).

The night in Gosford was capped by Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet being awarded the Johnny Warren Medal as the A-League Men’s player of the season.

-AAP

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