With an away goal in the bank and the second leg still to come next Wednesday, Sydney FC are well-placed to qualify for the AFC Champions League quarter finals says winger David Carney.
Carney, goal scorer in the first leg last Wednesday, praised the Sky Blues performance against Shandong Luneng and said he was thrilled to have got on the scoresheet at Jinan Olympic Sports Centre.
“We’re definitely in the driving seat,” said Carney.
“To get the away goal is important but by no means are we the favourites, it’s really only half time and we have to go out there and try and win [next Wednesday].
“To travel away from home and to get a result away from home is a fantastic result. Everyone played their part last night and if we can go home and get the win we’ll look back at this game and think that was a good performance.
“They had a penalty, Vedran pulled off a great save and then to score a few minutes later was a nice feeling,” he continued.
“It was important that we got the away goal. It was a great little ball from young Riley at left back and I was just happy to get there and get on the end of it.
“I saw the keeper coming the other way so I just wanted to get it down and go the opposite way of what he was going and lucky enough it went in.”
Sydney FC shot stopper Vedran Janjetovic crucially kept the Sky Blues in the contest with a brilliant save to deny Walter Montillo's spot-kick in the first half.
The keeper said the Sky Blues should be confident heading into next week's return leg and revealed his study of Shandong's kick-takers helped him produce the crucial intervention in China.
“Getting the 1-1 away from home is a massive result for us,” Janjetovic said.
“Everyone put in a massive shift last night and to travel away from home and get the away goal is a big bonus for us.
“With home ground advantage and a massive crowd behind us we can do the job quite easily. I think we’re in the driving seat for the next game.
“It wasn’t good giving away the penalty but I can safely say I redeemed myself having saved it,” he continued.
“Doing my homework on certain players that take set pieces [has helped with the penalty saved]. You never know what’s going to happen on the night but if you play your cards right and stick to what you’ve seen you can come away with the result going your way.
“That’s what I did last night, I did my homework on him especially saving the penalties. I tried to put him off a bit as well, play around with his mind and not make it easy for him, and it came off for the best."