‘We need to score more goals’: Corica laments Sydney FC’s ACL struggles
Sydney FC coach Steve Corica admits his side need to find an answer to their goal-scoring woes or risk falling out of contention in the AFC Champions League.
The Sky Blues drew a blank for the second straight match, going down 1-0 against J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday night.
It means the Hyundai A-League club are the only team in the ACL yet to find the back of the net after the first two group games.
Kawasaki had the majority of the chances, firing off 20 shots to Sydney FC’s two, although skipper Alex Brosque was not far away from giving the visitors the lead with a first-half header.
While admitting Kawasaki were the better team, Corica felt Brosque’s missed opportunity could have changed the game.
"We had maybe two good chances to score and it just comes down to finishing off, it's the final touch,” the Sky Blues coach told reporters after the match.
"I thought our captain [Brosque] had a good chance in the first half with a header. Maybe if he scores this goal the game completely changes, then we are in front and we can defend the lead.
“I thought our boys did well, first half I thought we were better but the second half we started to get a bit tired.
“Full credit to [Kawasaki]. I thought our boys did extremely well, especially defensively, but we need to improve and score more goals.”
Corica decided to leave Josh Brillante out of his squad for the match after it was revealed the midfielder had been the subject of potential transfer interest from a foreign club.
The Sky Blues certainly missed his drive and workrate in the middle of the park, eventually succumbing to an 83rd-minute winner from the hosts.
REPORT: Sydney FC succumb to late ACL loss against Kawasaki Frontale
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
PREVIEW: Sydney FC v Melbourne City
MOVING ON: Sydney FC defender the latest Western United FC signing
But the result of the other game in Group H, a 1-0 win for Ulsan Hyundai over Shanghai SIPG, means the group is still wide open after two matches.
Ulsan leads the way on four points, with Kawasaki and Shanghai each on three and the Sky Blues fourth with a solitary point.
"Ulsan winning, it's levelled the group out, so it's quite tight up the top and we're not too far away," Corica said.
"We need to win our next game, against SIPG, to pick up three points and make this group very tight."
Sydney FC now switch their focus back to Sunday’s Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne City as they look to keep pace with league-leaders Perth Glory.
Their next ACL match comes against Shanghai - which boasts Brazilian trio Oscar, Hulk and Elkeson - on April 10 at Jubilee Stadium.