Soft penalties typical in Asia, says Mariners striker
Mariners striker Matt Simon says inconsistent refereeing in the ACL comes with the territory after a soft penalty prompted a 2-0 loss to FC Seoul on Tuesday.
Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon says inconsistent refereeing in the AFC Champions League comes with the territory after soft penalty decision prompted a 2-0 loss to FC Seoul on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old forward called on his team to improve across the park and put in a 90-minute performance after suffering their fifth loss in succession in all competitions.
Seoul, beaten ACL finalists last season at the hands of Guangzhou Evergrande, broke a resolute Mariners defence courtesy of a highly contentious penalty decision in the 31st minute.
Mariners defender Joshua Rose was deemed to have fouled Sergio Escudero as the striker attempted to control the ball on the edge of the area.
Despite not even a hint of a protest from the Seoul players, Saudi official Fahad Al Mirdasi awarded the spot kick which Spanish defender Osmar drove home with the aid of the post.
Speaking on Fox Sports Simon said: 'I didn't actually see what happened in the box but the linesman was waving his flag like a madmen and you know these things happen.
'They definitely happen when you are away from home in Asia and we have just got to get on with it.'
Simon said the preparation, coming off a Friday night Hyundai A-League game, had been good but the result was not what they had hope for.
'Yeah it was very disappointing, we had a good couple of days training, the team has been feeling good over here but we didn't start that way,' he said.
'It was a bit of sloppiness and we have got to fix it.'
Simon remained upbeat about the prospects of the Mariners progressing further after the loss but was also realistic about the path required to do so.
'You have got to win your home games in this competition if you are any chance and you have got to try to put in good performances away from home and keep a defensive structure,' he said.
'I think we were good in patches tonight but at the end of the day just not good enough.'
Phil Moss will be without defender Marcel Seip for the Mariners' first home ACL game against Sanfrecce Hiroshima after the 31-year-old was shown a straight red card for a high foot.