Central Coast Mariners defeat Celtic in pre-season friendly

The Scottish giants started their three-game tour of Australia with a loss against the 2010-11 A-League runners-up, who had a few players impress the Hoops boss
Central Coast Mariners substitute Troy Hearfield hit a late goal to give his side a 1-0 victory over Scottish giants Celtic in their pre-season friendly in Sydney on Saturday.

In a game of few chances, the A-League club clinched victory despite Celtic dominating the majority of play.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold said he felt his side defended well against top-class opposition.

“I thought our defensive structure was again good tonight, although we were rusty in our execution in the final third,” said Arnold to reporters after the game.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon was also full of praise for the Mariners defence, highlighting Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswijk and potential Socceroos left back Joshua Rose.

“I thought the left back Rose had a very good game. And the left-sided centre half (Zwaanswijk) was excellent, technically very good and very calm and collected on the ball,” said Lennon to reporters.

“Obviously you concentrate on your own team but those two are good footballers – particularly Rose who got forward very, very well and was very athletic and very good on the ball.”

Despite Rose and Zwaanswijk's fine performances, highly-rated youngster Mustafa Amini didn't have a chance to impress the Celtic boss, rested due to a heavy schedule.

However, Arnold added he felt the game was a good experience for his players.

“Overall I thought we played well. It’s the first time the boys have played in this stadium, and to play a powerhouse side like Celtic was fantastic for them," said Arnold.

“They don’t have their history for no reason. They’re a top side, with some outstanding players.

“It was a great chance to see Australian players test themselves against that type of opposition.

“It’s their first game, so we played them at the best time in their tour."

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