Mariners under pressure to perform against Chinese club
IF being 2-1 down going into tonight's away leg of its AFC Asian Champions League tie against super club Guangzhou Evergrande was not enough, the Mariners will have to do it on limited preparation.
Midfielder Nick Montgomery said Monday's training session was abruptly cut short by extremely heavy rain, ahead of the do-or-die fixture at Tianhe Stadium.
"I've seen some big rainstorms, but today was probably the biggest I have seen," he said.
"The good thing is we had a warm-up, a stretch and a bit of ball work before the storm came, so at least we got something done."
Confidence is high among the Mariners camp, despite their opponents boasting a budget over $40 million, compared to Central Coast's relatively meagre $2.5 million allowance for its players.
"We created so many chances before they scored in the first-leg," Montgomery said.
"We are playing against some top-class opposition and I think we matched them for most of the game."
Coach Graham Arnold, who forensically studied a DVD of last week's 2-1 loss to the 'Southern China Tigers', said it would be as good as game over if his team conceded an early goal.