Frustrating end as Sydney FC eliminated from the ACL
Sydney FC’s AFC Champions League campaign is over after they were held to a 0-0 draw in their final group match against Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday night.
Needing a win to have any hope of making the last 16, the Sky Blues dominated their Chinese opponents but couldn’t make the most of large amounts of chances and possession.
But even if Graham Arnold’s side had taken all three points it wouldn’t have been enough to progress, with Suwon Bluewings getting a 1-0 win over Kashima Antlers in Japan to lock-up top spot in the group.
While frustrated to have been eliminated from the ACL, Sydney FC will now switch their focus to retaining their Hyundai A-League Championship in coming weeks.
STORY OF THE GAME
EARLY BLOW FOR SHENHUA: Less than five minutes in and winger Zhu Jianrong is forced off with a leg problem, replaced by Mao Jianqing.
BIG CHANCE FOR SYDNEY: Adrian Mierzejewski’s sensational through ball left Bobo clear through on goal but keeper Qiu Shengjiong denied the Brazilian with a superb block.
JUST WIDE: The visitors fail to adequately clear a Sydney attack with the ball eventually dropping to Mierzejewski who volleys inches wide of the post.
SO CLOSE! Great team move from Sydney ends with Mierzejewski teeing up Wilkshire inside the box but the right-back’s side-footed finish goes across the goal and just wide of the goal.
HALF-TIME: Despite dominating possession and chances, the Sky Blues were unable to breakdown a deep-lying, stubborn Shenhua defence.
FRUSTRATION GROWS FOR SYDNEY: The Sky Blues continue to make all the running but struggle to test ShengJiong in the Shenhua goal.
PENALTY SHOUT: With 20 minutes left, Mierzejewski floats a free-kick into the box with two Sydney FC players bundled to the ground, but the referee is happy to let play go on.
GREAT CHANCE FOR SYDNEY! Mierzejewski again the architect, his delicious cross with the outside of his left foot finding David Carney who headed over from just six yards out.
FRUSTRATING END: The Sky Blues continue to pile on the pressure with Mierzejewski’s volley forcing the keeper into a save, with the visitors doing their best to waste time in the dying minutes.