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Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 Central Coast Mariners

26 April 2009 No Comment

Source: www.the-afc.com

Kawasaki Frontale manager Takashi Sekizuka praised his players for their patient performance which earned his side three points from their 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday.

The Kawasaki players were frustrated by the slippery pitch caused by heavy rain and the physical performance of the Australian side eager to avenge their 5-0 loss to the Japanese side a fortnight ago.

But after a scoreless first 45 minutes, Brazilian forward Juninho opened the scoring 30 seconds into the second half, firing home after Jong Tae-se’s header had been saved.

That goal was canceled out by Matt Simon in the 59th minute but substitute Renatinho headed home nine minutes from time to give Kawasaki the win which kept them top of Group H and confirmed their place in the last 16 after Tianjin Teda and Pohang Steelers played out a goalless draw in the later game.

“Our players played well with good patience,” said Sekizuka.

“This was the game that Central Coast had to win to keep their hopes alive, so we knew they would come out with strong mentality.

Central Coast manager Lawrie McKinna lamented his team’s poor play at set pieces.

“Those two set pieces cost us two goals,” said the Scotsman.

“We came here after a very poor performance at Central Coast and we came with a game plan to make it very hard for Kawasaki. Generally, we did a very good job.

“A free-kick, that was obviously not a free-kick, punished us. We did well to come back into the game but from a corner again, we never cleared that properly.

“We defended and frustrated Kawasaki for most of the night and we created most of the best chances. So, I’m very proud of how the team came back from the 5-0 defeat, and very disappointed we didn’t get something from the game.

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