Bridge leads to win for Sydney

Sydney FC's AFC Asian Champions League campaign has a faint heartbeat after the Sky Blues rode Mark Bridge's injury-time winner to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday.

Sydney FC's AFC Asian Champions League campaign has a faint heartbeat after the Sky Blues rode Mark Bridge's injury-time winner to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday.

The visiting A-League side twice fell behind at Hongku Stadium only for Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine to make amends with a well-earned brace.

Bridge then stole a much-needed three points by making the most of a rare defensive error by Shanghai, his 91st-minute winner dragging Sydney within a point of the Group H lead.

There were warning signs aplenty for Sydney early in the match, with Shanghai's Duvier Riascos and fellow South American forward Luis Salmeron providing some early headaches for Sydney's defence.

The pair nearly combined for an opening goal after just four minutes in a move started by a lively Riascos on the right flank, with the on-loan Estudiantes de Merida man's slide-rule pass just a little too hot for Salmeron to finish cleanly.

Riascos had the goal at his mercy soon after. The Columbian unlocked Sydney's defence but flashed his shot over the crossbar and a relieved Liam Reddy.

But the Sky Blues goalkeeper was left fuming in the ninth minute as his team-mates were caught napping by a quickly taken free kick, resulting in a goal to Jiang Jiajun.

The Shanghai full-back easily shook off Sydney skipper Terry McFlynn and stole into the area, chipping a crisp finish past Reddy.

With their campaign on the line, the Sky Blues began to work their way into the match at set pieces, using their height to test Shanghai's stoppers.

Matthew Jurman let a gilt-edged chance go begging when he beat his marker to a whipped-in cross, only to time his header poorly and nod the ball wide.

But Cazarine made amends in the shadows of half-time, silencing the home support after Nick Carle sliced open Shanghai's defence with a deft through ball for the Brazilian.

Cazarine sprung the offside trap expertly and finished with a delicate left-footed chip over Shanghai custodian Qiu Shenjiong.

The second half started much the same way as the first, with Shanghai dominating the opening exchanges, though it took an own goal from Scott Jamieson to put the hosts ahead.

Jamieson leant in to a Shanghai cross but buried his clearing header into his own net and past an ever-redder Reddy in the 53rd minute.

But it was Cazarine to the rescue six minutes later, with the Brazilian again saving Sydney FC's hide with a touch of pure class.

McFlynn edged his way down the right and crossed to Bridge at the edge of the area. The former Newcastle Jet nodded back towards goal for Cazarine to rush in and dolly his shot over Qiu.

Dai nearly stole the lead back for Shanghai as time ticked over the hour, the newly capped China international sitting back at a free kick and thumping the cleared ball narrowly wide of the left post.

The Sky Blues were at times holding on for dear life, as both Riascos and substitute striker Cao Yunding flashed over the bar within 30 seconds of each other.

But a rare venture forward in injury time proved fortuitous for Sydney thanks to a terrible attempted clearance by Cao.

The forward got his head to substitute Kofi Danning's cross but merely looped the ball high into the air, allowing fellow Sydney sub Dmitri Petratos to nod back for Bridge.

The Sydney man made no mistake, clattering the ball inside the left post to the disbelief of the Shanghai faithful.

The win sees Sydney remain third in Group H with a five-point tally, one less than Suwon Bluewings and Kashima Antlers, who gave nothing away in a 1-1 draw in Japan on Tuesday.

The Bluewings lead the Antlers at the top of the table due to their superior goal difference.

Nagoya Grampus, meanwhile, replaced FC Seoul at the top of Group F with a 2-0 victory in South Korea, their second-straight victory of the tournament.