A first-half double from Tim Cahill sealed a 2-1 win for Melbourne City over 10-man Central Coast Mariners on Thursday.
The experienced former Everton man struck either side of a Roy O'Donovan effort as City triumphed at AAMI Park and, temporarily at least, closed the gap to Melbourne Victory in second to six points.
Cahill needed only three minutes to open the scoring, firing beyond Paul Izzo at the near post following a clever short free-kick from Luke Brattan.
Central Coast, who have won only twice in the A-League this season and sit bottom, snatched an equaliser six minutes later as O'Donovan drilled home from Connor Pain's low cross.
The visitors' hopes of a surprise result took a blow when O'Donovan was issued a straight red card after catching Michael Jakobsen with a stray arm, and Cahill restored City's advantage before half-time with a header from another Brattan delivery.
Cahill missed a good chance for a hat-trick and Nicolas Colazo twice hit the post as City continued to dominate without taking any further chances, holding firm for the win.
The Man of the Match is ! January 19, 2017
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