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Sainsbury's first goal keep Mariners' Asian Champions League dream alive

Date

Stuart Condie

Uncomfortable: Bernie Ibinie, pictured, and the Mariners were never comfortable during their 2-1 win over Guizhou Renhe.

Uncomfortable: Bernie Ibinie, pictured, and the Mariners were never comfortable during their 2-1 win over Guizhou Renhe. Photo: Getty Images

Trent Sainsbury picked the perfect moment to score his first goal for Central Coast on Wednesday, heading in late to earn the Mariners a 2-1 win over Chinese side Guizhou Renhe that revives his side's Asian Champions League campaign.

The Mariners had looked set for more ACL heartbreak after an unlucky own goal by goalkeeper Matt Ryan equalised Pedj Bojic's spectacular 50th-minute opener at Bluetongue Stadium.

But with just nine minutes left, Michael McGlinchey whipped in a perfect right-wing cross for the charging Sainsbury to head in at the far post.

The 21-year-old fullback's strike secured the Mariners only their second win in three continental campaigns and hoisted them up to four points at the halfway point in Group H, putting them in good shape for next week's return fixture.

"We made it real hard for ourselves," Mariners coach Graham Arnold said. "We should have been up 3-0."

"I’ve been around in international football long enough to know that you can really get hurt badly if you don’t capitalise on your advantage and we didn’t do that," he said.

"Fortunately we got the second goal but when it was 1-1 we had to go for it. We opened up quite a bit.

"Three points was a must tonight. It was either three or bust".

Guizhou coach Gong Lei appeared to be well on the way to busting himself with things going against his side.He fired up early when the referee allowed play to continue despite half the Bluetongue Stadium floodlights failing, was warned for his continued protests and had to be restrained by members of his own bench when the innocuous award of a goal kick went against his side.

"He was more mental than me," Arnold said.

Things could have been a lot more comfortable had referee Abdullah Baloushi awarded the Mariners a penalty for a blatant fifth-minute handball by Guizhou defender Wu Wei, who missed his attempt at a clearing header and swatted the ball out of the area with his arm.

Guizhou threatened sporadically through Zvjezdan Misimovic, who set up fellow Bosnian international Zlatan Muslimovic for an effort that Ryan smartly blocked at his feet, but the Mariners were the better side and merited their opener when it came.

There seemed little danger when Bojic picked up the ball on the right corner of the penalty area, but he cut inside with a touch of his right foot and hit a dipping shot with his left to score at the far post with goalkeeper Zhang Lie nowhere.

That looked to have set the Mariners on their way but they paid for their profligacy in the 71st minute when they conceded in unlucky fashion.

Joshua Rose headed a wicked free kick from Misimovic onto his own post, from where it rebounded, hit goalkeeper Ryan and rolled agonisingly over the line.

The home side were not to be denied, however, and Arnold's 100th match as Mariners coach ended in glory with Sainsbury's intervention.

In A-League news, Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon has re-signed with the club for a further three A-League seasons, but Travis Dodd could be sidelined for up to a year after undergoing a knee reconstruction.

Risdon has played 55 games for the Glory, with his career highlight coming a fortnight ago when he scored the winner in a 3-2 triumph over Melbourne Victory.

The 20-year-old's new contract takes him through to the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

CENTRAL COAST 2 (Pedj Bojic 50, Trent Sainsbury 81) bt GUIZHOU RENHE 1 (Joshua Rose 72 og) at Bluetongue Stadium. Referee: Abdullah Al Bloushi.

AAP

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Round 2
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
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VIC 5vs MCY 2 Stats
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WEL 4vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2vs PER 0 Stats
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WSW 0vs CCM 0 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs ADE 2 Stats
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PER 2vs NEW 1 Stats
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VIC 2vs WEL 0 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ADE 0vs SYD 0 Stats
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CCM 0vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ADE 2vs WEL 1 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1vs BRI 0 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
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NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
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Round 9
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1vs PER 2 Stats
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CCM 0vs VIC 3 Stats
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NEW 1vs WEL 3 Stats
ADE 2vs WSW 0 Stats
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MCY 1vs BRI 0 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
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VIC 3vs SYD 3 Stats
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 3vs MCY 2 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs VIC 0 Stats
PER 4vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs WEL 2 Stats
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs WSW 4 Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
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SYD 0vs ADE 3 Stats
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CCM 3vs BRI 3 Stats
VIC 1vs NEW 0 Stats
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WEL 1vs WSW 0 Stats
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Round 13
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
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BRI 0vs SYD 0 Stats
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Round 14
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SYD 0vs NEW 0 Stats
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Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
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CCM 1vs SYD 5 Stats
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PER 3vs VIC 3 Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
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WSW 2vs WEL 0 Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 0vs BRI 2 Stats
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WEL 0vs MCY 0 Stats
NEW 1vs WSW 1 Stats
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ADE 1vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
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Round 20
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VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
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CCM 1vs MCY 0 Stats
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Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
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Round 22
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
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WSW 1vs NEW 2 Stats
ADE 2vs VIC 2 Stats
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BRI 1vs WEL 2 Stats
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Round 23
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2vs CCM 1 Stats
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MCY 1vs BRI 0 Stats
PER 3vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL 0vs SYD 3 Stats
NEW 0vs ADE 1 Stats
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Round 24
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WSW 1vs MCY 1 Stats
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SYD 0vs ADE 1 Stats
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Round 30
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