Guangzhou R&F have denied the Central Coast a fifth Asian Champions League berth, defeating the Mariners 3-1 in their do-or-die playoff on Tuesday night.
Jiang Ning and Liu Lin scored a goal in each half at Central Coast Stadium with a humiliating own-goal from the Mariners’ Joshua Rose securing the result for the Chinese Super League side who booked a spot in their maiden ACL campaign.
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Substitute Glen Trifiro scored a late consolation for the hapless Central Coast in the dying minutes.
“They scored two quality goals and that own goal from Josh Rose. I feel for him, he’s hurting in the change rooms,” he said.
“At the end of the day we gave ourselves a mountain to climb by giving away that early goal. We didn’t defend well.
“It’s probably the story of our season, we give away cheap goals.
“We had a lot of possession and got in good areas, but we lacked that cutting edge.”
– with AAP