Niedermeier the hero as Victory edge Mariners in thriller
Melbourne Victory required a late goal from Georg Niedermeier to edge Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in a thrilling Hyundai A-League affair on Sunday.
Niedermeier flew through a crowded penalty in the 79th minute and rammed home his maiden Hyundai A-League goal, finishing off a plucky Mariners side who had earlier cancelled out Ola Toivonen's opener via Matt Simon's penalty.
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
The win extends Victory's formidable record over the Gosford club to 18 matches without defeat. It is in fact six years to the day the Mariners last triumphed over the reigning Hyundai A-League champions - a 1-0 semi-final win on April 14, 2013.
Keisuke Honda saw a swerving effort saved by Mariners goalkeeper Ben Kennedy and then hit the side netting in Victory's early siege, which bore fruit in the 21st minute when Toivonen crowned a gorgeous sweeping move involving Kosta Barbarouses, James Troisi and Elvis Kamsoba.
Only a desperate Matt Millar block and the strong palms of Kennedy prevented Kamsoba and Troisi - hunting his third consecutive strike against the Mariners this season - from doubling the advantage for Victory.
Simon handed the visitors a lifeline with a coolly dispatched spot-kick early in the second after the Mariners captain was clipped in the area by Victory defender Thomas Deng.
Alen Stajcic's side defended astutely in the face of some breath-taking Victory football, but it was ultimately the brute force of Niedermeier that broke Central Coast's resistance with ten minutes remaining, with the former Bayern Munich youth flying through a crowded penalty area to tap Barbarouses' cross home.