Home form crucial: Caceres
Having experienced an AFC Champions League campaign previously with the Melbourne Victory, Central Coast Mariners midfield lynchpin Adrian Caceres knows that home form is elementary to the Mariners’ hopes of continental success.
Having experienced an AFC Champions League campaign previously with the Melbourne Victory, Central Coast Mariners midfield lynchpin Adrian Caceres knows that home form is elementary to the Mariners- hopes of continental success.
With that in mind, Caceres has urged Mariners members and supporters to make a fortress of the Mariners- Central Coast Stadium home on Wednesday night, when Group H and perhaps competition favourites Kawasaki Frontale make their first appearance in Australia.
Kawasaki-s pedigree, like that of J.League counterparts and AFC Champions League holders Gamba Osaka - who Caceres battled with on a pair of occasions in 2008 - suggests that the Mariners would do well to emerge with any competition points from Wednesday-s encounter.
Although, with maximum points from home matches a virtual requirement in order to progress to the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League, Caceres and his Mariners team-mates are acutely aware of the need to post their breakthrough win against last year-s J.League runners-up.
"We-re happy with the results so far, but we-re looking forward to the next game and hopefully getting the three points that we need to have a chance of qualifying for the next round," said Caceres.
"It-s very important to win our home games and we-re yet to win a game, but it-s very important to win on Wednesday if we want to go the next level."
Midfield ace Caceres, the historic first ever Mariners goal scorer in the AFC Champions League, looms as a telling contributor for the yellow and navy at Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday night.
Caceres netted the Mariners- first ever continental strike at the Tianjin Teda Stadium in China-s east in mid-March - the most noteworthy contribution from his pair of appearances off the bench for the yellow and navy thus far in Asia.
While with former club the Victory, Caceres started two matches against AFC Champions League holders Gamba Osaka, with the Victory defeated 4-3 and 2-0 respectively by their Japanese counterparts.
Caceres made an appearance in five of Melbourne-s six AFC Champions League Group G fixtures in early 2008 before linking with the Mariners for their Hyundai A-League Premiership defence.
"Last year we played against Gamba Osaka with the Melbourne Victory and they were brilliant, they were very difficult to play against and they were all very good players, very technical and very fast," said Caceres.
"I-m hoping that Kawasaki won-t be as good as Gamba, but it-s going to be an exciting game and one that I-m sure the club will learn a lot from."
The Mariners- inaugural AFC Champions League campaign will resume at Central Coast Stadium, where they will take on Japan-s Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday, 8 April. Kick off is at 8pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.