To close out our autopsy of the Central Coast Mariners season, the 'Mariners Top 5' scoured every game on the domestic scene as well as in Asia to find the best strikes by men in yellow and navy.
5. Hyundai A-League Round 27 - Anthony Caceres v Brisbane Roar
With the Mariners top two hopes all but extinguished by a late Wanderers fightback south of the yarra, the Gosford club lined up against Brisbane hoping to earn a home semi final and third place with a win. 1-0 up after 28 minutes, Nick Fitzgerald floated in a corner from the near touchline and the ball pinballed around the area before falling to Bernie Ibini. The Mariners star teed up Anthony Caceres who, from all of 25 yards, hit a tracer bullet through a cluster of defenders to pearce the back of Michael Theo's net and send the reigning champions 2-nil up at the home of the Roar.
Anthony Caceras strike can be found at 1:15 in the below video.
4. ACL Matchday 4 - Marcel Seip v Beijing Guoan
After Liam Reddy made a crucial penalty save down the opposite end for the home side, the Mariners gained the upper hand in their reverse tie against Chinese heavyweights Beijing Guoan after being largely on the back foot for the first 70 minutes. As the Mariners went on the attack, a deflected Bernie Ibini shot fell to the feet of Nick Montgomery 30 yards out from goal. The defensive midfielder found Kim Seung-yong unmarked inside the box, whose intuitive one touch cross found a similarly unmarked Marcel Seip. His right foot volley left the Beijing keeper planted to the spot as the ball rifled into the back of the net and see the Dutchman grab his first goal for the Mariners and an important three points for the Gosford club.
3. Hyundai A-League Round 21 - Kim Seung-yong v Sydney FC
New import Kim Seung-yong was yet to stamp himself as a man to watch on the A-League stage after his move from Ulsan Hyundai in the January transfer window. The Korean ace marked as a free kick specialist was yet to be given a chance from the dead ball until 26 minutes in against F3 rivals Sydney FC when a clumsy challenge 20 yards out gave the new man a chance to prove his worth. Not missing a beat, Kim stepped up and looped the ball over the wall and into the top corner of a stationary Vedran Janjetovic's net to put the Mariners a goal to the good in a game they would go on to win 2-1. His celebration was almost as entertaining as his strike, with a string of moves akin to Just Dance 2 thrilling the members stand of Central Coast Stadium.
Kim Seung-yong's strike can be found at 0:51 in the video below.
2. Hyundai A-League Round 16 - Daniel McBreen v Newcastle Jets
In what would prove to be his last game for the club before jetting off to China for a lucrative deal with Shanghai SIPG, Daniel McBreen was always one to get up for the F3 derby's when the Mariners fans needed him - and didn't he show them just a little bit of magic on that brisk January eve? With the side already up courtesy of a wonder strike from Anthony Caceres, McBreen felt it was his turn to get in on the party tricks just after the half hour mark when a quick one-two with Nick Fitzgerald on the edge of the box culminated in a curling strike, floating in what seemed like slow motion, into the top corner of Mark Birighitti's net. The goal was made all the more special by the fact McBreen had been at a standing start when striking the football, as he picked a gap between the defenders and the posts.
Daniel McBreen's strike can be found at 0:32 in the video below.
1. Hyundai A-League Round 16 - Anthony Caceres v Newcastle Jets
With his second entry into the 'Mariners Top 5: Goals' segment, it would be hard to argue with giving the gong for the Central Coast's goal of the season to young Anthony Caceres after this stunning long range drive against the Jets. Not only was it Caceres first goal in professional A-League football, but to score in the F3 Derby with a strike of such quality is something to remember. In his breakthrough season for the Mariners, it was a mesmerising run from inside his own half that set up the chance, where Caceres fancy footwork showed up a handful of defenders to make space for himself 30 yards out near the far touchline. With the composure and technique of a veteran, Caceres then unleashed into the top right corner leaving Birighitti no chance as he swatted at air.
In the video above, you can see Anthony Caceres strike at 0:05.
Honourable Mentions: Hyundai A-League Round 9 - Daniel McBreen v Sydney FC, Hyundai A-League Round 25 - Bernie Ibini v Western Sydney Wanderers, ACL Matchday 2 - Mile Sterjovski v Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Have Your Say: What were your top five goals of the season by the Central Coast Mariners? Do you think Anthony Caceres strike deserved the #1 tag?