Asian Football Confederation - Champions League 2012

Mariners dominate Tianjin
by Chris Dunkerley

Group G - Round 5 - 2nd Leg
7:30pm, Wednesday 1 May, 2012
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 5
(Daniel McBreen 10', 20', Joshua Rose 48', Michael McGlinchey 71', Mustafa Amini 85')
Tianjin Teda FC 1
(Liao Bochao 72')

Central Coast Coast Mariners dominated Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda in their last Group G home game in Gosford last night, running out 5-1 winners, and turning around their ACL prospects with the scoreline.

There was an early scare when a sloppy back-pass bounced loose in no-man's land in the 2nd minute, and Alex Wilkinson was slow to realise the threat posed by the lurking Sjoerd Ars - the tall striker beat the Mariners captain to the ball and hit a crisp shot that cannoned off the right-side post but rebounded clear.

From then on the home-side focussed and 4 minutes later it was Adam Kwasnik heading over off a Joshua Rose cross from the left.

Mariners defender Pedj Bojic was right back to form with a run down the right side after receiving a clean pass from Michael McGlinchey, and he got to the line before crossing into the penalty area. It made it's way to the far side where Daniel McBreen steered the ball past Tianjin 'keeper Yang Qipeng. 1-0

Ten minutes later McBreen made it a brace, when Bojic again made a run down the right, this time slipping inside and slotting the ball to McBreen. The newly re-signed Mariner slammed the ball past the Tianjin 'keeper.

In the 28th minute Tianjin's Liao Bochao sent in a wicked curling cross from the right but it evaded all and Wilkinson cleared the danger. Ten minutes later McBreen set up the same scenario at the other end.

With Veliche Shumulikoski reduced to a long-range speculator, Oliver Bozanic sent a long shot wide to close out the first half-action.

With the home-side sitting on that nervous 2-0 scoreline into the second half it was a great relief then in the 48th minute Joshua Rose netted. McBreen receiving and pushing up on the left, sent a through ball to Adam Kwasnik who was stopped at the dge of the area. The ball fell out to a following up Josh Rose, and his first time shot sailed wide of the keeper and into the right of the net. 3-0

The Mariners just kept lifting, though the visitors were not without their chances. In both cases Mathew Ryan's keen eye and quick reflexes dealt with the risk, especially that from Hui Jiakang.

The Mariners deservedly added a fourth goal in the 71st minute - after several attempts by his team-mates from a corner were blocked, Michael McGlinchey’s curling shot from just outside the area out on the left hit the inside of the Tianjin net. 4-0

A moment on inattention allowed Liao Bochao to receive a long ball out wide on the left, and slalom inside, unleashing a shot that beat Mariners 'keeper Ryan. 4-1

It seemed a matter of time only when the home-side would extend the lead - with more goals needed to correct the balance upset in Seongnam. It proved harder that it might with some hasty shooting from the Mariners and some fine shot-stopping from 'keeper Yang Qipeng.

It came in the form of a 35m piledriver from substitute Mustafa Amini (playing his last game in front of a home crowd). After an attack had been thwarted the ball came out to Amini who ran in to meet it, and sweetly struck it rose slightly and nestled into the net. 5-1

“It was a fantastic performance and shows just maybe what the Australian teams can do if they are fresh against the Asian opposition,” said Mariners coach Graham Arnold. “It was a wonderful performance and it could have easily been 10 as it was a really good performance. We are absolutely still in it with six points. We have performed well so far except for the Seongnam game and there were reasons for that. We have got two weeks before Nagoya and we know what we have to do.”

"Full credit to the Central Coast Mariners, they played well and fully deserved the win," said Tianjin coach Josip Kuze.

The Mariners looked rested and back to their season best. Two other factors from last night may influence the Mariners chances of progressing - the 1-1 draw between Seongnam Chunma and Nagoya Grampus, and the suspension of Pedj Bojic. It is a mountain to climb to beat Nagoya at home, but yes the Coast are still in it.

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