Sydney FC’s ACL hopes dashed after loss to Ulsan in Korea
Sydney FC’s hopes of progression to the knockout phase of the 2019 AFC Champions League are over after a 1-0 loss to Ulsan Hyundai in Korea on Tuesday night.
The Sky Blues had a number of chances to get something from the match but were undone by Mix Diskerud’s audacious back-heel goal just shy of the hour mark.
The defeat means the Sky Blues are bottom of Group H and unable to finish in the top-two to progress, with just one game to go at home against Kawasaki Frontale later this month.
Michael Zullo returned to Sydney FC’s team after missing almost a month with a hamstring injury and his delivery from the left created big chances for Paulo Retre and Adam Le Fondre either side of the break.
But unable to take those chances, the visitors were punished on 59 minutes when American playmaker Diskerud rounded off a flowing counter-attack with a class finish, back-heeling the ball into the corner of the net from close range.
The Sky Blues pushed hard for an equaliser after that as Anthony Caceres was somehow denied by the keeper when presented with a great chance not long after going behind.
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Substitute Daniel De Silva and Reza Ghoochannejhad also should have done better with gilt-edged opportunities late-on to allow Ulsan to hold on for a vital three points.
Sydney FC will have to bounce back quickly from the loss with a massive Hyundai A-League Big Blue Semi-Final against Melbourne Victory on Sunday.