Sydney FC 0 def by. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 1 (Na Sungeun 44’)
Sydney FC’s dominance has gone unrewarded in a narrow defeat to K League Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC at Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar on Tuesday.
Moments That Mattered:
- NIEUWENHOF SHOT - 23’ – Some sustained pressure from the Sky Blues leads to their first shot in anger with a firmly struck long distance effort from Calem Nieuwenhof finding the keeper’s gloves.
- NINKOVIC CHANCE - 28' – Milos Ninkovic finds space following a corner to attempt to bend it around the keeper, but the Jeonbuk defence gets a vital touch to send the goal bound effort wide.
- PAVLESIC SAVE - 31’ – Sydney FC debutante Adam Pavlesic makes a goal saving stop, stretching to block at the feet of the Jeonbuk striker within the six-yard box.
- BUHAGIAR CHANCE - 37’ - Ninkovic peels off the back shoulder of his marker to then drive the ball across the face of goal to the Sky Blues’ speedster who is narrowly beaten in what would have been a near certain goal.
- NA SUNGEUN GOAL - 44’ - The young Jeonbuk striker grabs the lead moments before half time with a low driven effort that takes a slight nick off Michael Zullo and beats Pavlesic.
- BUHAGIAR CHANCE - 49’ – Paulo Retre drives at the heart of the Jeonbuk defence and slips through Trent Buhagiar whose goal bound effort is just deflected out and away for a corner.
- NINKOVIC CHANCE - 61’ – Alex Baumjohann threads the needle to find Ninkovic’s deep run but his resulting effort is dealt with by Jeonbuk’s keeper.
- WILKINSON CHANCE - 68' - A beautiful Baumjohann free kick is met by the Captain at the far post, but his thumping header is tipped away at the last by Beom-Keun in goal.
- BUHAGIAR CHANCE - 71’ - Baumjohann again the playmaker as the German drives and plays Buhagiar in one on one but his effort is into the keeper’s breadbasket.
Sydney FC dominated the opening half of the clash, forging a number chances and impressing in their overall play for the near entirety of the first 45 minutes.
Both Milos Ninkovic and Trent Buhagiar proved particularly troublesome for the Jeonbuk defence, however both saw chances dealt with by the reigning K League Champions.
Unfortunately, and largely against the run of play, Jeonbuk took the lead with a minute to spare in the first half as Na Sungeun saw a low driven effort deflect off Michael Zullo and creep inside the far post past Pavlesic.
Sydney FC started positively at the resumption of play as they set up camp primarily in Jeonbuk’s half and dictated the pace of the match.
Head Coach Steve Corica’s men proceeded to pepper the reigning K League Champions’ goal throughout the half, coming agonisingly close on a number of occasions, the closest of which through Captain Alex Wilkinson with a thumping header palmed away.
However, it wasn’t to be as the Sky Blues’ dominance in overall play in an AFC Champions League game again went unrewarded.
Sydney FC are in action again in Doha next Tuesday night against Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG.
What They Said:
Head Coach Steve Corica
"I'm very proud of my team's performance. I thought we were the better team, we created more of the chances and played some very good football.
"We just switched off one minute before half time but other than that we did everything right and stuck to the game plan. We're disappointed not to get the three points out of that game.
"I think what's lacking at the moment is just goals, we're creating lots of chances but not scoring as many as we should have. I'm very happy with the way we're playing but it's just the results at the moment are not coming for us.
"We've got two games we want to win, we're working towards the A-League season now, these games are preseason games now for us to prepare the players to make sure they're fit and ready for when we get back."
Sydney FC: 30. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 3. Ben WARLAND, 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN (17. Anthony CACERES 75’), 7. Michael ZULLO (16. Joel KING 88’), 8. Paulo RETRE (27. Jordi SWIBEL 84’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC (19. Chris ZUVELA 88’), 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (18. Luke IVANOVIC 74’), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF
Subs: 40. Levi KAYE (GK), 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 21. Harry Van Der SAAG, 33. Patrick WOOD.
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Cards: None.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors: 31. Song BEOM-KEUN (GK), 13. Kim BO-KYUNG (77. Lee SI-HYUN 75’), 15. Koo JA-RYONG, 18. Na SEONG-EUN (11. Jo GUE-SUNG 64’), 25. Choi CHEOL-SUN, 26. Hong JEONG-HO, 37. Modou BARROW (29. Lee SUNG-YOON 90+3’), 44. Shin HYUNG-MIN, 57. Lee SOO-BIN (10. MURILO 64’), 92. Kim MIN-HYEOK, 99. GUSTAVO (7. Han KYO-WON 75’).
Subs: 1. Lee BUM-YOUNG (GK), 19. Park WON-JAE, 21. Hong JEONG-NAM, 23. Yoon JI-HYEOK, 27. Myeong SE-JIN.
Yellow Cards: 26. Hong JEONG-HO 42'
Red Cards: None.
Ground: Al Janoub Stadium