Central Coast defeat Beijing
by Chris Dunkerley:
Asian Football Confederation – Champions League 2014
Group F – Game 4 – Home Leg
7:30pm, Tuesday 1 April, 2014
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(Marcel Seip 74′)
Beijing Guoan FC 0
Central Coast Mariners have gone to the top of their group in the Asian Champions League with a solid 1-0 win over Beijing Guoan at Central Coast Stadium on Tuesday night.
Two crucial saves from goalkeeper Liam Reddy, including a 69th minute penalty attempt, coupled with Marcel Seip’s first goal for the club gave the home side their second win of this ACL campaign.
The home side dominated the first 15 minutes, with Kim Seoung-yong, Isaka Cernak, and Mitch Duke running the Beijing defence ragged. They should have done better with two fre-kicks however.
First real chance of the game came in the 22nd minute when Josh Rose broke free down the left flank and cut the ball into Bernie Ibini-Isei but the on-loan attackker’s touch was too heavy, and the ball hit the upright.
Duke’s low shot, after an Ibini-Isei’s flick, went wide in the 39th minute.
Joffre Guerron created the visitors first chance in the 41st minute but his forceful rising shot went just wide of the upright from the right.
Two minutes later Guerron played provider, with a ball to Shao Jiayi, but the striker’s close range shot was saved in dramatic fashion via a handed, double parry, by Mariners custodian Liam Reddy.
In the 49th minute Duke worked hard down the right, and lifted the ball inside to Isaka Cernak but his snap shot was over the crossbar.
A mistake in defence by Marcel Seip in the 58th minute allowed Peter Utaka free, his he headed well wide.
In the 67th minute the western Assistant missed a clear offside, just after he was berated yet again for the good close one by Guerron. This allowed Guerron to race clear but he went down in the panaty area under a clumsy challenge by Brent Griffiths.
A play that should have been called back for off-side instead ended with a penalty awarded to Beijing.
Liam Reddy however was able to wipe out that transgression and keep a clean sheet as he went the the right way and brilliantly denied a very determined and focussed Zhang Xizhe.
The 74th minute goal for the Coast was just reward for a great display on the night.
A strike by Ibini-Isei was blcoked but with several yellow shirted player son attendance the rebound was picked up, passed, and then chipped over to Marcel Seip whose volley was superb technique. It gave the keeper no chance. 1-0
Even 5 minutes of staoppage time could not give Beijing Guoan any joy.
“Certainly I am very happy with the result but I think it definitely would have been three points that got away, or two if it ended up in a draw, because I thought first half we were very dominant and we created a lot of chances,” Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss said, after the game.
“We had every base covered and the boys really went out tonight and stuck to the game plan, and it’s a credit to the players because they’re the ones that go out there, do the hard yards and make everyone on the Central Coast really proud.”
“‘Rocket’ [Liam Reddy] really earned his money tonight with two fantastic saves, the first one just before half time and then the penalty save,” he added
“Credit to John Crawley, our goalkeeper coach. He analysed their penalty takers and he showed Rocket some footage before the game and that basically came down to the save because Rocket picked the same way.
“That’s a big part of coaching when you can get those big moments right, so credit to ‘JC’ (John Crawley, goalkeeper coach) and also to ‘Rocket’,” Moss said.
Moss’s ACL squad rotation has proven itself as the Mariners have won four of their past five matches, and are coming into form for the rest of the group stage, and the A-League finals.
The Mariners are now top of a very tight Group F by one point with two rounds to go – with FC Seoul v Sanfrecce Hiroshima ending 2-2 last night– it also gives the Coast their third win in three seasons over Chinese Superleague clubs.
Central Coast Mariners FC line-up:
12. Liam Reddy (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON (15. Storm ROUX +55’), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (c), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 20. Bernie IBINI, 26. KIM Seung-yong (28. Glen TRIFIRO +87’), 27. Isaka CERNAK (11. Nick FITZGERALD +70’)
Subs not used: 1. Justin Pasfield (rgk), 29. Matt Sim, 17. Anthony CACERES, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI
Coach: Phil Moss (Australia)
Yellow Cards: Griffiths ; Red Card: Nil
Beijing Guoan FC line-up:
22. Yang ZHI (gk), 3. Yu YANG, 4. Zhou TING, 5. Darko MATIC, 8. Joffre GUERRÓN, 10. Zhang XIZHE (9. Tan TIANCHENG +82’), 13. Xu YUNLONG (c), 15. Peter UTAKA (11. Song BOXUAN +59’), 29. Shao JIAYI, 31. Zhao HEJING, 39. Piao CHENG (16. HA Dae-sung +82’)
Subs not used: 1. Zhang SIPENG (rgk), 4. Zhang XIAOBIN, 7. Yang YUN, 24. Li HANBO
Coach: Gregoro Monzano (Spain)
Yellow Cards: Nil ; Red Card: Nil
Officials: Referee – Hettikamkanamg Pereira (Sri Lanka) 7/10
Ratings: Pitch: 8/10
Players to note: Central Coast – Liam Reddy, John Hutchinson, Isaka Cernak
Match report and ratings by Chris Dunkerley, with CCMFC media
[ AFC site …. ] http://www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-champions-league.html