Onwards and upwards as Sky Blues prepare for AFC Champions League sojourn

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has turned his attention to Matchday Two of the AFC Champions League following his side’s 0-0 draw with Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday night at Jubilee Stadium. 

The Sky Blues held their own in the first half, looking comfortable against an outfit that had finished third in the K-League 1 last season.

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However, with the wind in their sails — and literally behind their backs — Sydney FC pushed on and were unlucky not to come away with more than a point. 

Corica praised his players for their attacking performance but, with their game against Kawasaki Frontale next Wednesday night, was looking ahead.

“I think in the end, yeah (two points dropped), but I thought the performance was very good,” said Corica. 

“Defensively very strong, I think they only had one shot on target in the second half. 

“With the ball I thought that was one of our best performances, the only thing that was lacking was the goal. 

“Robbie Stanton’s over (in Japan) now, he’s watched (Kawasaki's) game tonight so we’ll have a look at that game and a couple of other games and we’ll go from there.”

Having seen Sydney FC produce an attacking performance, questions were asked as to whether the same would be replicated in Kawasaki. 

Hyundai A-League teams often remain compact in defence in the ACL, such is the quality of their continental opponents. 

Corica would not elaborate entirely on Sydney’s game plan for Kawasaki, though the Japanese champions offer a different proposition to Ulsan Hyundai. 

“Little bit of a different story, maybe — away from home, maybe we need to stay a little bit more compact in the first half, then we’ll see after that,” said Corica.

“We leave on Sunday so we’ll make that decision when we have a good look at them.”

Corica confirmed Siem de Jong and Danny De Silva would still be unavailable for the match against Kawasaki. 

The Sky Blues depart for Kawasaki on Sunday morning, giving Corica's side ample time to prepare for a game that, should they lose, would put them behind the eight ball.

“I think every game’s important,” said Corica.

“There are six games, we want to win as much as possible, we want to pick up points — away from home we want to pick up points as well. 

“Especially after we didn’t get three points today, so it’s a vital game, very important.”