Mariners limp out

Central Coast's disappointing Asian Champions League campaign has ended on a low note, beaten 1-0 by an under-strength Tianjin Teda at a wet Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.

Central Coast's disappointing Asian Champions League campaign has ended on a low note, beaten 1-0 by an under-strength Tianjin Teda at a wet Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Chinese team pinched all three points courtesy of a goal to striker Mao Biao after 65 minutes.

Set free by a lovely ball from Ma Leilei, Biao shook off Nigel Boogaard's advances and beat Danny Vukovic with a shot low inside the goalkeeper's near post.

The loss leaves Central Coast without a victory in any competition since New Year's Eve, a winless stretch now going back 11 matches

Lawrie McKinna's men limp out of the ACL with just two draws from six matches, condemning them to last spot in Group H in their debut ACL campaign.

Tianjin Teda used the match as an opportunity to field a number of players from outside their senior team and fluency was understandably lacking early.

But they did give the Mariners a scare after 10 minutes, Biao playing himself into the box only for Alex Wilkinson to make a timely block as the trigger was pulled on the shot.

Han Yanming earned himself a yellow card for a tackle on Adrian Caceres before Central Cast threatened through Ahmad Elrich on 14 minutes.

Elrich's dangerous back post cross was punched clear for a corner by goalkeeper Zhao Yanming as the home side started to impose itself on the match.

In the 26th minute Caceres took aim but found the body of Wu Ze blocking his path to goal.

Four minutes later Elrich found himself in space but couldn't get the ball from under his feet, sending a meek shot straight to Zhao Yanming.

The small crowd was celebrating - prematurely as it turned out - in the 33rd minute when John Hutchinson's back post header was tucked away by Adam Kwasnik, only for the striker to be ruled offside.

Leilei was booked after taking out Andrew Clark's legs a minute later as the Mariners upped the tempo.

Kwasnik headed wide on 40 minutes before Hutchinson wasted a free header right on the interval, leaving the hosts empty-handed after a half big on endeavour and not much else.

The rain returned for the second half, making Central Coast's task all that more difficult.

But the Mariners almost pinched the led after 57 minutes, through luck rather than design.

Caceres turned his back on the goalkeeper's clearance, the ball ballooning up in the air and looping towards the goal.

He Yan, spotting the danger, raced back and headed the ball to safety from under his bar.

Biao's goal came against the run of play eight minutes later but it proved enough to see off the Mariners, who lacked confidence and a real belief they could find an equaliser.

Matthew Osman had the best of the late chances, his header skidding off the greasy surface and just wide of the far post after 78 minutes.

The visitors, who finished third in the group, are the first Chinese team to win on the road in this year's ACL.

Central Coast 0

Tianjin Teda 1 Goals: Mao Biao (65m)