Mariners wary of Chinese in Asian football

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    A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners are wary of the speed of Tianjin Teda heading into their opening Asian Champions League (ACL) match in China on Wednesday.

    The two clubs also clashed in the group stages of the 2009 ACL, drawing 2-2 in China before Tianjin triumphed 1-0 in Gosford.

    Tianjin, who are about to start their domestic campaign, have one Australian in their squad, defender Milan Susak, who joined them from Adelaide United last month.

    The temperature during the game is expected to be close to zero, and snow fell during the Mariners’ training run at the stadium.

    Mariners coach Graham Arnold is adamant he will be looking for a win.

    He will be forced into at least one change after fullback Trent Sainsbury didn’t travel with the team due to concussion.

    Pedj Bojic, who was suspended for last Saturday’s A-League match against Sydney is available again, while ACL-only signing Trent McClenahan is another option.

    The Mariners have viewed a 15-minute video of their Chinese opponents.

    “They basically play with a 4-4-2 system and they’ve got an Australian player Susak playing there at right-back,” Mariners central defender Patrick Zwaanswijk told AAP from China.

    “They are all pretty quick in transition so we have to keep an eye on that and they are a team that defend with nine or 10 players behind.

    “Their No.10, their captain (Wang Xinxin), is a veteran and he tries to get back in position and doesn’t do a lot of defending.

    “They try to get back behind the ball. They try to get the ball off you and, as soon as they get the ball, they move forward pretty quick.

    “It’s a bit of the Japanese style of play where they have all quick players around the ball and try to surprise you.”

    Mariners’ skipper and defender Alex Wilkinson played in China last year during the A-League off-season.

    “I think they (Tianjin) have changed their team quite a bit since I was there last year and apparently brought in all new foreigners, so it’s going to be a different team,” Wilkinson said.

    “We played them the last time over in Tianjin in the Champions League so we know the area, we know the stadium, so that’s a good thing.

    “I think with our structure, we’ve got a great chance of breaking them down because, at times, they can be quite erratic.”

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 7th 2012 @ 2:56pm
      Nathan of Perth said | March 7th 2012 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

      I would suggest they have every reason to be wary; good luck Central Coast.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2012 @ 11:23pm
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 7th 2012 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

      17 mins played 0-0 and CCM playing their usual disciplined, well-organised system.

      MVFC played Tianjin last year in the ACL and we got a 1-1 draw away from home after going conceding the opening goal. And, at home we won 2-1 with 2 goals in 2 minutes just before HT after conceding the opening goal.

      An away draw would be fantastic for CCM.

      ESPN commentators (from England) talking glowingly about the crowds and standard of football in the HAL.

      • March 8th 2012 @ 12:27am
        Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 12:27am | ! Report

        Where are on earth are you hearing English ESPN commentators whilst in Australia?

    • March 8th 2012 @ 12:38am
      Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 12:38am | ! Report

      Nice to see some more fluid attacking from Central Coast in the last few minutes.

    • March 8th 2012 @ 12:49am
      Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 12:49am | ! Report

      Great work from Rogic and Ibini after being brought on, definitely changed match complexion

    • March 8th 2012 @ 12:50am
      Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 12:50am | ! Report

      Right after I type that Ibini makes a meal of a gilt edge chance…

    • March 8th 2012 @ 12:53am
      Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 12:53am | ! Report

      Well, that’s the first round done, 0:0 is the result.

      • March 8th 2012 @ 1:10am
        Stevo said | March 8th 2012 @ 1:10am | ! Report

        Absorbing game between two quite evenly matched teams. Enjoying ACL so far.

        • March 8th 2012 @ 1:22am
          Nathan of Perth said | March 8th 2012 @ 1:22am | ! Report

          A win, a draw and a loss the result, and not to the teams we might have thought two days ago, very intriguing start.

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