Sydney FC Asian dream ends

Sydney FC's AFC Champions League campaign came to an end in the group stages on Tuesday with a 3-1 defeat away to Suwon Bluewings.

Sydney FC's AFC Champions League campaign came to an end in the group stages on Tuesday with a 3-1 defeat away to Suwon Bluewings.

Goals from Ha Tae-Kyun, Mato Neretljak and Yeom Ki-Hun were the reward for a dominant display from the Korean side at the Suwon World Cup Stadium, with Bruno Cazarine's consolation strike from Sydney coming against the run of play.

The win sees Suwon join Kashima Antler on nine points at the top of Group H.

Defeat leaves Sydney four points behind and, with just one match of the group stage remaining, out of the running.

The warning signs were there from the start for the 2010 A-League champions, as an ill-judged back pass by Stephan Keller let in Lee Sang-ho in the 11th minute.

Fortunately for the visitors goalkeeper Liam Reddy was alive to the danger, coming off his line quickly to snuff out the chance.

Three minutes later and Suwon came inches away from taking the lead.

A free kick curled in from deep was met by the head of Kwak Hee-Ju and with Reddy beaten, only the cross bar kept the ball out.

Minutes later Sydney enjoyed their best chance of the half when Andrew Durante found space at the back post, but the central defender could only succeed in lofting the ball high over the bar.

And on 33 minutes Suwon had their goal.

In a carbon copy of the earlier Kwak chance, another free-kick from deep found Ha Tae-Kyun at the near post.

Criminally, the 23-year-old forward was allowed to get goal side of three Sydney defenders and enjoyed the luxury of a simple header past the helpless Reddy.

Sydney's haphazard defending from set pieces continued and they were lucky not be 2-0 down on 35 minutes, when Ha rose unmarked at the back post to crash another header off the bar.

Shortly afterwards Keller should have been booked when he prevented Lee a run at goal with a body check and high foot after Durante's botched pass.

Mark Bridge summed up the away side's toothless contribution to the half with just their second shot of the match on 40 minutes, a speculative long-range effort easily dealt with by Suwon goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong.

Carrying their momentum into the second half, Suwon nearly scored again 60 seconds after the restart, when Oh Jang-eun headed a cross from Ha just over the bar.

A minute later they did have their second - Croatian defender Mato Neretljak curling a perfectly weighted free-kick over the Sydney wall and into the top corner, leaving Reddy no chance.

The strike was a just reward for Suwon's dominance in the match, but the two-goal cushion lasted less than a minute before Sydney, against the run of play, had one back.

Substitute Grant made the opening from the restart, getting in behind Neretljak to find Bridge in the box.

Now it was Suwon's turn to neglect their defensive duties - none of the Korean back-line was able to clear, and centre-forward Bruno Cazarine seized on the loose ball, stabbing home to make it 2-1 and give Sydney a life-line.

The unlikely goal temporarily galvanized the visitors.

First Keller made amends for his earlier errors to deny Lee after a penetrating Oh run.

Cazarine then had a header saved on 53 minutes, before Bridge sent another headed chance wide two minutes later.

They wasted a golden opportunity to level when Nicky Carle found Durante in behind the Suwon defence, but his pass for Grant was too heavy, allowing Jung to smother at the last moment.

And it would prove Sydney's last opportunity to keep their ACL campaign alive.

Suwon reasserted control, with first Ha and then midfielder Lee Yong-Rae going close.

On 79 minutes the questionable Sydney defence was breached on a fatal third occasion, with the Yeom Ki-Hun afforded time and space to strike a long-range drive into the far corner of the net for 3-1.

Reddy might have done better, but he could also expect his defenders to have closed down the threat.

It was the story of the night for Sydney, who could well have fallen further behind when Beom Seok Oh slotted yet another effort narrowly wide with minutes remaining.