#CCMvGE - The Facts!

WOW your mates at our clash with Guangzhou Evergrande tomorrow evening with these matches facts & information!

Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 2013 AFC Champions League Round of 16 First-Leg Wednesday 15 May, 2013 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:30pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash tag for the game is #CCMvGE

AS Australia-s lone representatives in the Group Stage after 2012 A-League champions Brisbane Roar were eliminated in a play-off, Central Coast Mariners kept their country-s flag flying in the AFC Champions League after they edged out Chinese newcomers Guizhou Renhe for a spot in the last 16.

The Mariners could have been forgiven for taking it easy in the AFC Champions League after they won their maiden A-League title in April with a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in the Grand Final. But just 48 hours after that victory, Graham Arnold-s side claimed another memorable result when they beat Suwon Bluewings 1-0 for their first ever away win in the AFC Champions League.

That put them second in Group H and left them needing only a draw from their final home game against Kashiwa Reysol to become just the third Australian club after Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets to reach the knockout rounds. The Mariners lost 3-0 to the Japanese club but Guizhou-s 2-2 home draw with eliminated Korean side Suwon Bluewings saw them pip the Chinese team by a point for the runners-up position.

Having gone two weeks without a competitive match after the loss to Kashiwa, Central Coast now face a clash with Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande, who progressed to the Round of 16 after narrowly winning Group F.

The southern Chinese side, who are looking to improve on their Quarter-Final performance last year, had appeared to be coasting to the last 16 after picking up 10 points from their first four games but a 3-2 defeat at Urawa Red Diamonds in their penultimate match left them needing a point from their final game against Korean side Jeonbuk Motors to progress.

They achieved that target with a goalless draw as they finished a point ahead of Jeonbuk and Urawa and they now face their first ever Australian opponents in the competition as they continue their quest to become the first Chinese winners of a continental title since Liaoning won the Asian Club Championship in 1989.

Round of 16 Facts The Round of 16 was introduced to the AFC Champions League format in 2009 when the number of competing teams was increased from 29 to 32. The previous format (used from 2004 to 2008) saw the first-placed teams from seven four-team groups advancing directly to the Quarter-Finals along with the winners of the previous year-s tournament.

• From 2009 to 2012, the Round of 16 featured one-off matches hosted by the winners of the eight opening round-groups. From this season onwards, the Round of 16 will be played over two legs with the group runners-up hosting the first leg games and the group winners hosting the second leg games. • Last year-s penalty shootout between Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates and Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia was the first in the Round of 16 since 2009 when two matches were settled that way. All three ties have been won by the away side - Al Ahli won 4-2 in 2012 after a 3-3 draw in Abu Dhabi, Umm Salal of Qatar beat Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia 4-3 after a goalless draw in Riyadh and Korea-s FC Seoul downed Kashima Antlers 5-4 after a 2-2 draw in Japan. • In addition to those games, only one other Round of 16 match has gone to extra time. Lee Dong-gook got the winner for Jeonbuk Motors of Korea in their 3-2 victory over Adelaide United 3-2 in Australia in 2010 after the game was deadlocked at 2-2 after 90 minutes. • Al Hilal recorded the biggest ever win in the Round of 16 with their 7-1 thrashing of UAE side Baniyas last year. Korea-s Pohang Steelers also won by a six-goal margin when they crushed Newcastle Jets of Australia 6-0 in 2009. • Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan and Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia are the only teams to have qualified for the Round of 16 in all five editions since it was introduced in 2009. Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia are appearing in the last 16 for the fourth time while Korean sides FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are making their third appearances at this stage. • Al Shabab Al Arabi of the United Arab Emirates, Central Coast Mariners of Australia, Buriram United of Thailand, and Lekhwiya and El Jaish of Qatar are making their first appearances in the Round of 16. El Jaish are the only tournament debutants to have reached this season-s knockout stage.

Match Facts This is the first AFC Champions League meeting between Central Coast Mariners and Guangzhou Evergrande. Central Coast have reached the last 16 for the first time on their third appearance in the competition while Guangzhou are playing in the knockout rounds for the second consecutive year.

Central Coast Mariners • Central Coast are only the third Australian club to reach the Knockout Stage after Adelaide United (2008, 2010 & 2012) and Newcastle Jets (2009). Adelaide-s 1-0 win over Japan-s Nagoya Grampus last year was the first victory by an A-League side in the Round of 16 after they lost 3-2 to Jeonbuk in 2010 and Newcastle were thrashed 6-0 by Pohang Steelers in 2009. • After losing 1-0 to Tianjin Teda in 2009, the Mariners have won their last two home matches against Chinese clubs in the AFC Champions League, trouncing Tianjin 5-1 last year and edging Guizhou Renhe 2-1 this season. • The 3-0 loss to Kashiwa Reysol in their final group game ended the club-s five-match unbeaten run in AFC Champions League games at the Central Coast Stadium. • The Mariners have used 20 of the 25 players in their squad with only goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and defender Trent Sainsbury starting in all six of their matches.

Domestic form • Central Coast Mariners claimed their maiden A-League championship when they beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 in the grand final on April 21 thanks to a Patrick Zwaanswijk header and a Daniel McBreen penalty.

Guangzhou Evergrande • Guangzhou Evergrande-s 1-0 win over FC Tokyo last year was the first by a Chinese club in the Round of 16. In previous matches, Beijing Guoan lost 2-0 to Suwon Bluewings in 2010 and Tianjin Teda went down 3-0 to Jeonbuk Motors in 2011. • This is Guangzhou-s first AFC Champions League visit to Australia. • With 14 goals, Guangzhou are tied with Qatar-s El Jaish and Japan-s Kashiwa Reysol as the second highest scorers in the competition, two goals behind Saudi side Al Ahli. • Brazilian forward Muriqui had his five-game scoring streak ended in the goalless draw with Jeonbuk Motors on Matchday Six. With six goals, he is the competition-s second-highest scorer behind El Jaish-s Wagner Ribeiro. • Midfielder Qin Sheng is suspended after he received two yellow cards during the Group Stage.

Domestic form • Gao Lin netted two second-half goals as Guangzhou Evergrande returned to the top of the Chinese Super League with a 3-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua last Friday. They have 22 points and a three-point advantage over second-placed Shandong Luneng.

Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 2013 AFC Champions League Round of 16 First-Leg Wednesday 15 May, 2013 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:30pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash tag for the game is #CCMvGE