Sanfrecce Hiroshima coach Hajime Moriyasu cut a dejected figure post-match after his side was beaten 2-1 by the Central Mariners in their AFC Champions League clash on Tuesday evening in Gosford, labelling the result 'really disappointing'.
After opening up an early lead when Tsukasa Shiotani took advantage of a defensive error from Kim Seung-Yong after 22 minutes, the two-time defending J-League champions dropped their bundle to concede two goals in eight minutes, both at the hands of veteran striker Mile Sterjovski.
The result leaves the Japanese side on one point and bottom of the group after two games of the ACL group stage.
"I'm really disappointed that we lost the game, we thought we could win the game" said Moriyasu through an interpreter after the loss.
"Because on Saturday we had a full game and a lot of the players played a full game, with the travel time only giving us two days to travel to Australia, I think it a could have caused the players to misjudge things because they were tired.
"The speed and judgment is maybe a little bit slow.
"We had a lot of chances, the positioning was good but basically everything was lost (late in the play) so it wasn't good."
Club legend Moriyasu did have some praise for the victors.
"The Mariners have very good physical power and height, so we can't do the same things we do with Japanese sides (to win matches)," he said.
"When we went into attack we tried go with a lot of movement and a lot of running and to try to avoid the physical power and the height of the Mariners.
Mariners coach Phil Moss noted the impact of striker Matt Simon (one of the tall threats to whom Moriyasu was referring), who returned to the starting line-up saying he was not worried when Simon got involved in a few clashes with opponents late in the first half.
"Not really Simmo is a passionate guy," Moss explained.
"In the first half he was such an outlet for us and I always had it in my mind to get him out of there around the 60 minute mark because I wanted to keep him fresh for Saturday's derby (clash with Newcastle) and I thought he had done his shift magnificent for us.
"He held the ball up well, he brought the midfield into the game and defensively he always puts pressure on defenders."
Moss did note he was concerned after Simon was booked late in the first half.
"I knew that they would go looking for him once he got his yellow card, he didn't even realise he was booked," said Moss.
"He had a head knock at the time but we had to tell him he actually had a yellow card, that was a bit disappointing for him.
"I still don’t know why he was booked when he was on the ground.
"We were told it was because he didn't get on the stretcher but anyone that knows Simmo wouldn't get on the stretcher if it was the last thing that was available to him to get off the pitch."
Midfielder Anthony Caceres was one of six Mainers changes from Friday’s A-League loss to Melbourne Victory when the 21 year-old suffered a concussion during the match but is set to be available for the F3 Derby on Saturday.comments