A Patrick Zwaanswijk header gave the Mariners hope but Leandro Domingues led Kashiwa Reysol's fightback at home
|By DEJAN KALINIC
Central Coast Mariners have slumped to a fighting 3-1 loss to Kashiwa Reysol in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.
The reigning A-League premiers took an eighth-minute lead through Patrick Zwaanswijk but were pegged back by Leandro Domingues in the first half.
Domingues set up Kenta Kano to make it 2-1 in the 67th minute and he sealed the result with a classy finish late on.
The Mariners, who slip to third in Group H, missed a late penalty through Michael McGlinchey to remain winless after two matches.
Graham Arnold made seven changes to the starting XI who suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss to Sydney FC in the A-League on Saturday.
But it was ever-present goalkeeper Mathew Ryan who was needed to keep the visitors on level terms after five minutes.
Ryan, selected in the Socceroos squad on Wednesday, dived to his right to keep out a Tatsuya Masushima volley after Central Coast failed to deal with a corner.
The Mariners settled well but their early lead thanks to a Zwaanswijk header still came as a surprise.
Oliver Bozanic whipped in a cross and the Dutchman was left unmarked, powering his header past Takanori Sugeno.
The Emperor's Cup champions only looked likely to score from a set-piece early on and again went close in the 12th minute as Hiroyuki Taniguchi lifted a close-range effort over the bar.
Nelsinho Baptista's men were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty four minutes later after Anthony Caceres appeared to bring down Kano, but Ali Al Badwawi waved play on.
Kashiwa did get their equaliser in the 21st minute and it came thanks to the lively Domingues.
A Mariners turnover in midfield led to the Brazilian being played in behind and he easily beat Ryan in a one-on-one.
Masato Kudo headed a Masato Fujita cross over just before the half-hour as the hosts began to take control of the encounter.
Zwaanswijk continued to cause problems from corners and went close on 35 minutes as he had an effort cleared off the line.
Both sides struggled to create chances early in the second half before Kashiwa had two chances in as many minutes after the hour mark.
Domingues played through Kudo, who hit a powerful effort into the side-netting, moments after the Mariners had to scramble away a chance.
Kashiwa did grab the lead through the impressive Kano on 67 minutes.
Domingues was again at the heart of the move, his cross poked home by Kano after Trent Sainsbury had kept him onside.
Domingues completed a standout performance with the sealer two minutes from time, volleying home a Fujita cross.
The Mariners had an opportunity to end their penalty drought late on after Mitchell Duke was brought down by Ryosuke Yamanaka.
But McGlinchey made it five straight misses from the spot for Central Coast when his poor effort down the middle was saved by Sugeno as the Mariners slumped to a third straight loss in all competitions.