Sydney FC require three points on Tuesday night to remain a chance of making it to the knockout stages of Asia’s premier club competition, as they face Shanghai SIPG in China (kick off 9:30pm AEST).
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Shanghai SIPG v Sydney FC, Tuesday 23 April, Shanghai Stadium
Sydney FC and Shanghai SIPG put on a show in their last AFC Champions League encounter at Jubilee Stadium with six goals scored across 90 action-packed minutes.
The action was literally end-to-end as the side’s traded goals with Shanghai’s Elkeson popping up in the 89th minute to ensure that the points would be shared.
While a promising performance from the Sky Blues, matching it with a side containing the likes of ex-Porto star Hulk and former Chelsea playmaker Oscar, it leaves them in a perilous position heading into match day four.
The Sky Blues have a fight on their hand to qualify from Group H, currently sitting in bottom position on two points after they drew their opener against Ulsan Hyundai 0-0.
Beat Shanghai in China, however, and Head Coach Steve Corica’s men could rise as high as second depending on the result of the other Group H game between Ulsan and Kawasaki Frontale.
Shanghai, coached by former Porto manager Vitor Pereira, are unbeaten in this year’s continental showpiece, while domestically they sit in second place on the Chinese Super League ladder after five matches.
Sydney FC meanwhile are in good form in the Hyundai A-League, beating recently-crowned Premiers Perth Glory 1-0, and sewing up a top two spot and the very handy week off that comes with it.
De Jong: Time to prove ourselves
Siem de Jong reflected on that six-goal thriller with Shanghai SIPG last time out, and the 0-0 opening round stalemate with Ulsan Hyundai, with regret but the Dutchman insists Corica's men haven proven they have what it takes to cause an upset.
"We should have won one of those games – especially the home games we played pretty well – but we didn’t get the three points and that’s the part that sucks a bit," de Jong said.
"It’s going to be a difficult one, but we still believe in it. We believe we can play well against these teams. I think we’ve shown it in all the games, but it’ll be tough game going to two away games and then another home game.
"We want to go through to the next round and of course it’ll be tough. We played well but didn’t get the points at home. We need to prove [we can get the points away from home] in the next two games."
How it stands - Group H