Atletico Madrid
4:30 PM UTC
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Real Sociedad
6:45 PM UTC
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AC Milan
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6:45 PM UTC
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Chicago Fire
Houston Dynamo
8:00 PM UTC
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Atlanta United FC
New York Red Bulls
11:00 PM UTC
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12:00 AM UTC May 21, 2018
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
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Okon refuses to look back despite Central Coast Mariners' poor record

The emotion in his voice shows the passion and frustration Paul Okon is feeling, as the near misses accumulate in his first season as the Central Coast Mariners coach.

For the second A-League home game in just over a week against one of the big boys, the Mariners scored twice, but couldn't get a win.

Against unbeaten league leader Sydney FC on Sunday, they came from 2-0 down to 2-2, only to concede a minute after equalising.

Central Coast MarinersCentral Coast Mariners
Sydney FCSydney FC
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To make things worse for Okon, there was a significant offside doubt over Sydney's winning goal from David Carney.

On New Year's Eve they conceded a late penalty as Melbourne City escaped Gosford with a 2-2 draw.

Defensive lapses continue to prove costly for Central Coast, whose tally of 31 goals against is the most conceded by any of the ten teams.

They haven't won in six games and only hapless defending champions Adelaide United are keeping them off the bottom.

Central Coast Mariners coach Paul Okon
Central Coast Mariners coach Paul Okon remains optimistic despite his side's poor record this season.

"It's two games games now where we're really disappointed with the result and we've played two of the powerhouses of the competition, the belief is there," Okon said.

"We just have got to keep working, there is no secret formula to getting results.

"It's at the key moments of games where we have to be better, otherwise we'll just not win football games.

"We will work hard and create opportunities and have people that can score goals and we have threats going forward.

"If we're going to give away cheap goals against any opposition then you're not going to win games and be in front and try and control the game.

"Chasing it, we're capable of doing it, but I'd rather be sitting there watching the opposition chasing for once."

Sydney and former Mariners coach Graham Arnold seemed relieved to be leaving his his old stomping ground with three points and paid tribute to Okon's side.

"You've got to give the Mariners full credit for the way they played," Arnold said.

"I think Paul, [Okon] would hope they play like that every week."


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