Central Coast will fight fire-with-fire in Tuesday night's AFC Asian Champions clash with Beijing Guoan insists Mariners striker Bernie Ibini.
Central Coast will fight fire-with-fire in Tuesday night's AFC Asian Champions clash with Beijing Guoan and they will be ready for a physical battle, insists Mariners striker Bernie Ibini.
The Mariners say they were 'shocked' by the Chinese side's brutal approach in their 2-1 defeat a fortnight ago and won't fall for the same trick again at Bluetongue Stadium.
"It's going to be a very physical game which you don't normally see from the Chinese, Korean or Japanese teams," Ibini said of the upcoming clash with Beijing.
"We'll be up for the battle because it is our home turf and we'll make sure that we're ready and we have our game structure ready to beat them.”
The Mariners- loss in the Chinese capital exploded after a bad tackle from behind by a home player resulted in a brawl on the pitch.
Zhoa Hejing-s tackle on Nick Fitzgerald resulted in a melee with Mariners skipper John Hutchinson and Beijing-s Zhang Chengdong going into the book for the push and shove. Insert Tweet
The Mariners have just the three points to show from their opening three ACL games and sit bottom of their group.
But Phil Moss' side are just two points behind Beijing who are currently leading the standings and with two of their final three group games at home still have a great shot at progression to the knockout phase.
"You don't know the Asian teams for being so physical so it was a bit of a shock,” added Ibini, the Mariners- super-sub hero from the weekend-s A-League victory over Wanderers.
"So we'll be ready to welcome them to our home ground and make sure we get the result because we really need it."
"We found last year if you win your home games in the ACL you have a good chance of making it through to the next round," Ibini said.
"We won our last home game (in the ACL) and we need to continue that form and then try and get a result on the road.”
What might be a good omen for the Mariners is Ibini-s Chinese club Shanghai SIPG (he is on loan back to the Mariners) defeated Beijing Guoan 1-0 in Friday-s round of Super League games.
Ibini added: "It all starts with Beijing on Tuesday night, it's a really big game for us and we need a win so hopefully we can get a big crowd behind us to help us out."
To buy tickets for Tuesday night-s clash click here.