Australia’s only representative in Asian Champions League held by South Korean outfit.
Australia’s Central Coast Mariners were left to rue a late penalty miss as they were held 0-0 by Suwon Bluewings of South Korea in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
The Mariners, Australia’s only team in the Asian club competition, looked sure to secure all the points at their home ground in Gosford when Kwak Kwang-Seon handled inside the box in the final minutes.
However, Nick Montgomery’s effort was saved, leaving it all square after the Mariners failed to capitalise on a number of chances against the 2011 semi-finalists.
Australia has only one team in the AFC Champions League after A-League winners Brisbane Roar failed to come through qualifying.
The pan-Asian competition, now entering its second decade, features 32 teams from 10 different countries. The group phase concludes in early May but the two-legged final will not take place until November.
Among Wednesday’s later matches, China’s Guizhou Renhe take on Kashiwa Reysol of Japan, and J-League title-holders Sanfrecce Hiroshima host Uzbek side Bunyodkor.
The west Asian fixtures include Iran’s Sepahan against Al Nasr of UAE and fellow Emirati side Al Ain, who won the inaugural competition in 2003, versus Saudi team Al Hilal.