They might still be chasing their first ever win in the Asian Champions League but Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold said he could not have been prouder with the efforts of his exhausted players after Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at Gosford.
The match at Bluetongue Stadium came only three days of the Mariners' first leg major semi-final showdown against Brisbane and continues what has been an amazingly hectic schedule for Arnold's side in the past month.
Central Coast were full of running for most of the match, even in the second half when they played a man down following the sending off of defender Joshua Rose.
"It was fantastic, a brilliant effort, I cannot be prouder of the boys," a delighted Arnold said after the match.
"With the short turnaround we've had, the effort was incredible and it was made even tougher with the sending off."
"Even with 10 men we had a couple of chances to win it. These players keep amazing me."
Arnold was especially pleased with the efforts of veteran campaigners Patrick Zwaanswijk, John Hutchinson, Daniel McBreen and captain Alex Wilkinson.
"They just keep on keeping on," Arnold said.
"There's plenty of ticker in our dressing room."
Seongnam coach Shin Tai Yong said his team put in a solid performance away from home.
"In the second half we played a good game I thought," he said.
"We gave a goal away and after we scored we could have scored three or four more."
It was a third draw from as many Asian Champions League starts for both the Mariners and Seongnam.