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Mariners fall in Champions League opener

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The Central Coast Mariners could not manage the form reversal that they needed as they fell in their opening Champions League match 2-0 to FC Seoul on Tuesday night.

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It was a much improved effort from the Mariners but they still struggled to overcome a quality K-League outfit in the Korean capital.

It was an impressive performance from Seoul, in their first competitive match as they were the stronger team and fully deserving of the 2-0 victory.

The Mariners set up with a solid defense to try and hold on for a point on the road and it was proving difficult for FC Seoul to break down as their chances only came from long range.

The Central Coast looked to be doing well but on the half hour the Mariners were left stunned when Sergio Escudero went down after a challenge from Josh Rose, which saw a penalty awarded, allowing Osmar Barba Ibanez to step up and score the opening goal of the match from the spot.

That would be it for the goal mouth action in the first half as the Mariners continued to stand firm at the back for the final 15 minutes of the half, but failed to really challenge for a goal.

It was all Seoul again in the second half, forcing the Mariners to defend, but they were doing so gallantly, although with a goal down they needed to show some attack.

But just 11 minutes in to the half Seoul really wrapped things up as Kim Chi-woo was able to send the ball in to the box for Yun Il-lok to stroke home past Liam Reddy to seal an impressive Seoul move.

Seoul continued to completely dominate the match and could well have had a third with Chi-woo twice having a solid effort denied by a top save from Reddy.

The Mariners were left further disappointed with six minutes to play when Marcel Seip was shown a straight red card for his challenge, meaning he’ll miss the Mariners next Champions League match.

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