Goals through Patrick Zwaanswijk and Daniel McBreen in each half were enough for Graham Arnold’s men to take the title and halt a 13-game unbeaten run from the Wanderers, who finished the season at the top of the table.
On a surface battered by rugby league, chances were rare, although veteran Mile Sterjovski went closest when he almost lobbed keeper Ante Covic to give Mariners the lead.
Just before half time a corner from the left whipped in by Michael McGlinchey found Patrick Zwaanswijk who headed home with force, making him the oldest player to score a finals goal in Australia.
The stats were ominous for Tony Popovic’s first-timers Wanderers – this was the first first-half goal in four A-League finals for the Mariners.
The only other goal of the match came through the league’s golden boot, Daniel McBreen, whose effort to chase a ball to the byline and force German defender Jerome Polenz to handle in the area.
McBreen blasted the ball into the top corner and it was a matter of holding on for 20 more tense minutes.
“It’s amazing,” Mariners captain John Hutchinson said. “It means a lot to us but it means more than a lot to the fans. There was a fantastic atmosphere and the team slogged it out.”
Before the match there were unprecedented scenes as the Wanderers well-organised Red and Black Bloc marched in force from Central Station to Allianz Stadium. But it was the Mariners faithful who had the more satisfying trip home.
Images via Getty