Asian Football Confederation - Champions League 2012

Change favours Seongnam
but not the Coast
by Chris Dunkerley

Group G - Round 4 - 2nd Leg
7:30pm, Wednesday 18 April, 2012
at Tancheon Sports Complex


Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma FC 5
(Changhoon 39’, Everton Santos 43’, 73’, Sunghwan 69’, Jovancic 83')
defeated
Central Coast Mariners FC 0

Seongnam Ilhwa ChunmaFC picked up their first win of the 2012 AFC Champions League campaign on Wednesday evening at home to move into equal top of Group G, with a 5-0 win over previously undefeated Central Coast Mariners FC.

Seongnam coach Shin Tae-yong made six starting changes from the team that drew with the Mariners in Gosford two weeks ago, while Graham Arnold had to replace one wing-back in suspended Joshua Rose but also rested Pedj Bojic, thus setting up with an exerimental backline, and brought Mustafa Amini back for a leg-weary Tom Rogic. He also stuck with underperforming striker John Sutton in preference to Bernie Ibin-Isei.

In front of a 'crowd' of 2,017 (less than half of that at tiny Gosford) the game started in 15C weather on a reasonable pitch.

Lim Jonguen got onto the ball early but blasted over, while at the 5 minute mark Mustafa Amini found space with the ball and made a surging run that ended in the firm hands of 'keeper Ha Kangjin, while 3 minutes later Everton dos Santos got free but his his shot across the goal.

The best chance for the Mariners came in the 29th minute with Adam Kwasnik back to goal bringing down a high ball from Michael McGlinchey, and swivelling to hit it just past the post on the volley.

So to the 39th minute when it looked like yet another draw was heading our way, the home side struck. With the ball lost cheaply in midfield by the visitors, Kim Sung-hwan threaded the ball through to Hevertinho and the Brazilian laid off to Lee, who gave Ryan little chance with a crisply struck shot. 1-0

In the 43rd minute, Seongnam doubled their advantage with a moment of brilliance from Everton dos Santos, with his marker Sam Gallagher in two minds, volleyed home with his right foot after Jovancic's header off Heverton's free kick dropped over the striker's right shoulder. 2-0

In the 70th minute, Kim raced into the Central Coast penalty area before lashing a right-foot shot high into the net, beating Ryan with pace and power. 3-0

Iranian referee Saeid Mozaffarizadeh pointed to the penalty spot two minutes later when Kim Sung-joon was judged brought down by Alex Wilkinson. Everton dos Santos stroked the ball home to add to Central Coast's misery.

Jovancic then completed the rout in the 83rd minute when he side-footed the ball home to give the K-League side an emphatic victory that ignites their challenge for a place in the Round of 16, while handing Central Coast a first defeat

Certainly the changes Shin was able to make from his squad made a more telling impression that Arnold's meagre kit bag!

The Australian side now has to win and handsomely at home against Tianjin Teda in 2 weeks, and then at least get something out of a tough away game at Nagoya, if Arnold's expressed hopes of a second round place can be satisfied.

"I am very happy. The players were tired, but they followed the instructions I gave them before the match and gave 120%," said Seongnam coach Shin Tae-yong. "If they play like they did today in the K-League, it will be better and our position will improve. In the last two games in the K-League we have won without conceding a goal and I think this had a positive effect."

"The difference in performances from the home game to this game was the players are fatigued and tired," said Mariners coach Graham Arnold, who saw his side lose on penalties to Perth Glory in the A-League finals series preliminary final last Saturday. "They had no spark, no power, because they've had a very hard schedule. We've been playing three games a week for the last six weeks. And we have a lot of kids in our team. It's not an excuse it's reality. A reality that to perform at international level it is very difficult to play 120 minutes on Saturday night, travel all day Sunday and play against a very good football team in Seongnam on Wednesday", he added.

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