Central Coast missed a great chance to start their Asian Champions League campaign with a win after Nick Montgomery missed an 88th-minute penalty to draw 0-0 with Suwon Bluewings.
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
The Central Coast Mariners have blown a golden opportunity to register their first win against Korean opposition in the AFC Champions League after Nick Montgomery missed a late penalty in their 0-0 draw with Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday evening in Gosford.
On a humid night at Bluetongue Stadium, Montgomery missed his 88th-minute penalty attempt after Suwon's international goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong saved to his right.
The penalty attempt came after defender Kwak Kwang-Sun produced a blatant handball as Nick Fitzgerald was attempting to head the ball towards goal.
After their 6-2 triumph over the Melbourne Victory on Saturday, the Mariners made four changes with Zac Anderson, Oliver Bozanic, Fitzgerald and Mile Sterjovski coming into the starting line-up.
Suwon, who begin their 2013 K-League campaign this weekend, started with an all-Korean line-up bar Australian centre-back Eddy Bosnar.
Graham Arnold's men dominated the first-half chances on goal with the visitors content to absorb the home side's pressure.
Michael McGlinchey - who netted a hat-trick against the Victory - fired the first shot in anger with an attempt saved by Suwon shot-stopper Jung in the 12th minute.
The Mariners were positive in attack but often caught out offside in the first 15 minutes of play in an attempt to break the deadlock.
McGlinchey and then Sterjovski had loose attempts on goal after a Fitzgerald cross in the 28th minute.
Even defenders Trent Sainsbury and Anderson were getting in on the act in attack, although both were unable to guide their headers into the net.
The visitors' chances were minimal with long balls from near the halfway line the primary tactic to get the ball into the Mariners' penalty area.
Suwon had better chances in the second half as both sides searched for an opener.
Choi Jae-Soo had a long-range shot on goal which was easily saved by Mariners goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
The industrious McGlinchey had another attempt in the 55th minute after some good lead-up work from McBreen and Fitzgerald.
Within a minute of coming on, Mitchell Duke had a one-one-on with Jung created by McGlinchey but couldn't slide the ball home as the keeper pulled off a point-blank save.
Suwon coach Seo Jung-Won attempted to change things in the Korean side's favour when influential Macedonian international Stevica Ristic was brought on among their second-half replacements.
However it was another substitute, Kim Dae-Kyung, who had a dipping shot from outside the penalty area parried away by Ryan in the 77th minute.
The Mariners continued to attack before their late chance as they were forced to settle for a goalless draw.