Beijing Guoan’s recent dip in form continued tonight as the capital side went down 1-0 away to A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners in a rather drab Asian Champions league match.
The game almost started perfectly for the Mariners in the 6th minute when a foul outside the Guoan box gave the home side a free kick. Unfortunately Korean winger Kim Seung-Yong could only hit the wall.
AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP F
Central Coast Mariners 1
Marcel Seip 73′
Beijing Guoan 0
In the 22nd minute the Mariners threatened again when a dangerous Joshua Rose cross into the box could only be sloppily cleared into the post by Zhao Hejing. Shanghai East Asia loanee Bernie Ibini-Isei tried to capitalise, but he could only find the side netting.
Things almost went bad for Guoan in the 32nd minute when Yang Zhi fell awkwardly after a punch to clear the ball. After a strange-looking massage from the physio he was able to make a big save on Ibini-Isei in the 39th minute when the young Australian was played in on goal.
A great ball by Guerron in the 42nd minute found Shao Jiayi right in front of goal. Luckily for the Mariners their keeper Liam Reddy was there to stop the shot point blank.
The first half ended in controversy when in the last minutes of stoppage time Joshua Rose hit away a bouncing ball in the box with his hand. The Guoan players’ appeal for a penalty were waved off.
Guoan did win a penalty in the second half though when Mariners’ Brent Griffiths brought down Guerron in the 67th minute. The 2012 CSL young player of the year Zhang Xizhe stepped up only to have Reddy make an important save.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 73rd minute when after the ball pinged around in Guoan’s box falling to Marcel Seip who smashed it home to give the Mariners the only goal of the match and a much needed three points.
After a bright start, Guoan manager Gregorio Manzano will face tough questions if he is not able to get his side out of the group, with many feeling the team have not played as attractive football as under former manager Aleksandar Stanojevic.
In Group F the Mariners now have 6 points and Guoan have 5. Guoan next face Hiroshima Sanfreece at home while the Mariners host FC Seoul.
Beijing Guoan: 22 Yang Zhi, 3 Yu Yang, 4 Zhou Ting, 5 Darko Matic, 8 Joffre Guerron, 10 Zhang Xizhe(9 Tan Tiancheng 81), 13 Xu Yunlong, 15 Peter Utaka(11 Song Boxuan 59’), 29 Shao Jiayi, 31 Zhao Hejing, 39 Piao Cheng(16 Ha Dae-Sung 82’)
Central Coast Mariners: 12 Liam Reddy, 3 Joshua Rose, 4 Marcel Seip, 5 Zachary Anderson(15 Storm Roux 55’), 6 Brent Griffiths, 7 John Hutchinson, 8 Nick Montgomery, 9 Mitchell Duke, 20 Bernie Ibini-Isei, 26 Kim Seung-Yong(28 Glen Trifiro 86’), 27 Isaka Cernak(11 Nicholas Fitzgerald 70’)
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