Can either side gain an edge in Group G with victory in Seongnam on Wednesday? It may well depend on how the Mariners recover from their A-League exit
With Group G of the AFC Champions League still wide open, both Seongnam Ilhwa and the Central Coast Mariners have the chance to steal a march on their rivals if they claim victory on Wednesday.
The match between the two sides on April 3 finished 1-1, with the Mariners holding on at Bluetongue Stadium despite going down to 10 men with more than half an hour still to play.
Seongnam have made a shaky start to the new K-League season, with 2011's Korean FA Cup winners sitting eleventh on the table after eight matches.
They have also mis-fired in the ACL, having just three points to show from three matches.
Their past two results, however, have shown improvement - on Wednesday they beat Chunnam Dragons, while three days later they were 1-0 victors at Daejon Citizen.
Meanwhile, after a season of dominance for Central Coast, the Gosford side has once again fluffed their lines when it matters - in the finals series.
Winless in their last four matches across all competitions, Graham Arnold's side were soundly beaten by Brisbane Roar in the two-legged grand final qualifier, and then failed to put Perth Glory to the sword despite 120 minutes of non-stop pressure at Bluetongue.
Are they able to pick themselves up after that disappointment and make something of their continental campaign? To do so they will have to move quickly, because - after three draws and just two goals to their name in Group G - it is not yet clear if they are up to it.
If there is a positive about missing the grand final for the Mariners, it is that they will be able to now focus all their attention and energy on the ACL, which means no more nursing players through what was a very tough schedule.
With few injury problems, Mustafa Amini could be set for a significant run out at Tancheon Sports Complex in Seongnam, given he was left out of the squad for Central Coast's preliminary final against Perth.
Mariners coach Graham Arnold will have to find a replacement for the suspended Rose, with Trent Sainsbury and Trent McClenahan in the running to fill his spot.
One man missing again for Seongnam is Australia international Sasa Ognenovski, who is yet to recover from injury.