Mariners secure crucial draw

Central Coast Mariners have secured a precious away point in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Chinese side Tianjin Teda in their Asian Champions League Group H encounter.

Central Coast Mariners have secured a precious away point in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Chinese side Tianjin Teda in their Asian Champions League Group H encounter.

Brazilian Luis Eber had put the home side in front in the first half but Adrian Caceres pulled the A-League side level just after half-time.

Matt Simon then gave Mariners the lead shortly after the half-hour mark only for Wu Wei'an to head home a 66th-minute effort which meant the Mariners had to settle for recording their second successive draw in the competition.

"Tonight, the game was played in very good spirits by both teams and I'm very proud of how our team performed over the 90 minutes," Mariners boss Lawrie McKinna said.

"I felt as though Tianjin had scored against the run of play in the first half and I felt as through we had weathered the storm and that we had them on the back foot."

"We deserved to go 2-1 up, but it was disappointing for us to concede two goals from two corners."

The visitors made the early running and Nik Mrdja fired wide after 21 minutes before Predrag Bojic lifted an acrobatic effort over the crossbar from close range.

Tan Wangsong dragged an effort wide from the edge of the box for Tianjin but Eber gave it a 36th-minute lead when he met Hao Junmin's cross with a header that beat Danny Vukovic.

McKinna introduced Caceres at the start of the second period and it took the midfielder three minutes to restore parity when Tianjin failed to clear and his strike crept under goalkeeper Yang Jun.

Simon grabbed his first goal of the competition after 61 minutes when the striker shrugged off Wang Xiao and slotted home from close range.

But Wu replied five minutes later when he connected with a corner to ensure the Chinese Super League side earned a point.

The Mariners next face Japan's Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday April 8 at Central Coast Stadium.