Central Coast Mariners 1-0 Western United: Fortunate Gallifuoco goal lifts A-League strugglers

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Central Coast Mariners kept their first A-League clean sheet since February 2018 as Giancarlo Gallifuoco's fortuitous strike secured a 1-0 win over Western United to move them off the foot of the table.

United would have risen into third place with a victory in Gosford on Sunday, but the struggling Mariners held firm to claim their second win of the season.

Former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti went close for United with a free-kick late in the first half, but it was Central Coast who made the breakthrough four minutes after the interval when Gallifuoco's volley took a wicked deflection off Aaron Calver.

Filip Kurto did his best to react, yet could only push it in off the inside of his right-hand upright.

Alen Stajcic's side endured a nervy wait while there was a VAR check for a potential handball in the box from Ziggy Gordon late on, but the Mariners' luck was in.

And after Josh Risdon headed wide in stoppage time, the Mariners were able to celebrate taking points and earning their first clean sheet in the league in 21 months.