Two late penalties from Marcos Flores have helped Central Coast come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.
Marcos Flores scored twice from the spot to earn the Mariners a point at AAMI Park on Saturday after a brace from Heart forward David Williams in the opening 15 minutes of the second half had seemingly put the home side on track for victory.
While Heart had the better of the chances to win the match, after Flores' second penalty had drawn Central Coast level with 13 minutes remaining, the visitors held on.
The game turned in the 71st minute as referee Ben Williams pointed to the spot after he spied Patrick Kisnorbo's arm on the shoulder of Mariners striker Matt Simon.
Flores stepped up and beat Heart goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne at his right-hand post and suddenly the score was 2-1 and the Mariners were back in the match.
Just five minutes later and Mitchell Duke's shot hit Patrick Gerhardt's hand in the box, the referee pointed to the spot and Flores made no mistake.
After a fairly pedestrian first half, the game desperately need a goal early in the second to force one of the teams to attack and it came in the 54th minute as Heart attacking midfielder Williams took advantage of a blunder from Central Coast goalkeeper Justin Pasfield to hit the back of the net.
Golgol Mebrahtu picked up a loose ball and unleashed a shot from long-range, which Pasfield failed to hold onto and Williams got to the rebound first, rounding the Mariners' goalkeeper to score.
The visiting Mariners responded with a period of possession and should have equalised five minutes later when Storm Roux found Nick Fitzgerald on the penalty spot but the winger curled his shot over the bar.
The hosts immediately took advantage of that miss as a clever turn from Mebrahtu started a move that saw Iain Ramsay set up Williams for his brace, simultaneously scoring Heart's 100th A-League goal.
But just as Heart took control against the reigning champions, two penalties - one contentious, one clear-cut - saw the Mariners recover and salvage a draw.
Williams had the best chance to snatch victory back for the home side but his close-range shot was blocked by Pasfield in the 83rd minute, which ensured both teams started the A-League season with consecutive draws.