Mariners suffer narrow defeat in Malaysia

The Central Coast Mariners have suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat in our opening game of the AFC Cup, going down to Terengganu FC. 

In hot and humid conditions, the Mariners dominated much of the proceedings, creating numerous opportunities through the 90 minutes. 

Unfortunately, despite this we were unable to find the breakthrough goal, with a Nathan Paull own goal all that split the teams. 

The Mariners started the match strongly, with an acrobatic effort from Marco Tulio only being denied by the woodwork in the third minute. 

Both Alou Kuol and new recruit Angel Torres had strong chances in the 16th minute, with the Colombian making a spectacular run to get on the end of a Tulio pass. 

Torres’ one on one shot was blocked by the keeper, before Kuol’s follow up off Tulio’s cross sailed just wide of the goal. 

The Olyroo continued to put pressure on the home team’s goal, beating Terengganu’s goalkeeper as the ball sailed just to the outside of the goal. 

Against the run of play the home side did score just before the break, with a dangerous cross played into the box in search of striker Ivan Mamut. 

Paull’s intervention unfortunately found the back of the net, handing the home side a lead heading into the break. 

Coming out in the second half Kuol almost found the net in the 46th minute, again heading the ball narrowly over after outjumping his defender. 

Two minutes later it was the home side who threatened to double their lead, with Sony Norde finding some space before letting loose with his right foot. 

His effort firing towards the right-hand corner before a brilliant save from Danny Vukovic, directing the ball away from goal. 

The Mariners continued to pressure Terengganu’s goal, with Torres and Theoharous all having their goalward shots blocked over the following 20 minutes. 

The home side began to work on the counterattack, breaking against the run of play to pressure our defence. Habib Haroon having his strike only denied by the upright in the 75th minute, as both teams hunted for a goal. 

Following some stunning play from Theoharous, who dribbled past two defenders, the Mariners had their best chance of the second half. The winger finding Tulio six yards out, with the Brazilian’s shot blocked off the line, before Wenzel-Halls’ follow up was saved. 

Kaltak’s headed effort in the final seconds of stoppage time was deflected over the crossbar, the full-time whistle blown immediately after, with the Mariners unable to ultimately find an equaliser. 

The Mariners will look to collect our first points of the group stage at home against Stallion Laguna on October 4th, with kick-off scheduled for 7pm. Tickets will be available shortly, while AFC Cup passes can be purchased HERE!