Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery has branded Australian teenager Garang Kuol on his way to the World Cup “deadly” as the striker netted a brace against Macarthur FC. The 18-year-old, the youngest member of the Socceroos squad heading to Qatar, scored twice to raise the Mariners level to 10 against Dwight Yorke’s side but a late goal from Jed Drew earned him the Bulls a 3-2 win that moves them to fourth in the standings.
But it was Kuol’s performance that was the main talking point as the youngster once pointed out why Australia manager Graham Arnold included him in his 26-man squad for this month’s final . “We know in key moments he’s lethal and from that angle that finish is why he’s going to the World Cup and that’s why Graham Arnold… chose him over everyone else because that’s what he can produce,” Montgomery said.
Kuol hasn’t allowed the lack of a first professional start to stop him on a rapid rise, with the striker having already signed a contract to join English Premier League side Newcastle United in January. Montgomery introduced Kuol from the bench in the 55th minute and 10 minutes later struck from the penalty spot after drawing the foul himself to halve the deficit.
It was his second goal seven minutes later, however, that sent the pulse racing as Kuol smashed an unstoppable right-footed shot that exploded over goalkeeper Nick Suman from a sharp angle. Kuol’s interference was in vain, however, as Drew scored on the break five minutes into added time to defeat a Mariners side who had played with 10 men since Brian Kaltak was sent off in the 30th minute.
“(Garang) single-handedly changed the game for them,” said former Manchester United striker Yorke. “He’s been doing it for the last two games and you can see why he’s an exciting talent. He probably doesn’t deserve to lose the game today, but we needed the three points and I’m delighted.”
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