Sky Blue Debutants Defeated In ACL

Sydney FC 0 Kawasaki Frontale 4 (Wakizaka 9’, 20’, Tanaka 28’, Damiao 58’)

Sydney FC have been defeated 4-0 tonight by Kawasaki Frontale in the AFC Champions League in a brave performance that saw five players make their Sky Blue debut and a new captain emerge in Paulo Retre.

McGing in action
Liam McGing wins a challenge.

Moments That Mattered:

  1. Wakizaka Goal 9’ – An early goal for the visitors as Wakizaka takes a shot from distance which dips late on the Sky Blues keeper Heward-Belle and into the bottom-right corner.
  2. Wakizaka Brace 20’ – Some lovely lead-up play from Kawasaki down the right flank and a pinpoint ball into the centre of the box allows Wakizaka to score his second goal within the opening 20 minutes.
  3. Heward-Belle Save 25’ – The visitors continue to dominate early proceedings and a nice cross into the area is met with an even better save from the Sky Blues shot-stopper after a headed attempt from Yamamura.
  4. Tanaka Goal 28’ – Kawasaki extend their lead to three goals within half an hour after a shot from Tanaka is deflected off a defender into the top-right corner.
  5. Ivanovic Miss 52’ – Reza finds himself in open space and chips the Kawasaki keeper in the Sky Blues first real chance of the evening, and it rebounds back to Ivanovic from close range and he sends it flying into the fifth row.
  6. Damiao Goal 58’ – A counter attack for Kawasaki after some solid Sydney FC pressure down the other end gives Damiao an opportunity one-on-one with the keeper and he makes no mistake, drilling it into the top-right corner.
  7. De Silva Block 69’ – Kawasaki looked set to extend their lead to five goals, but a fantastic goal-line clearance from De Silva halts their scoring opportunity.
  8. Heward-Belle Save 71’ – Another great save from the keeper in his Sky Blue debut, denying a headed chance and tapping it over the bar to keep the score at 4-0.
King in action
Joel King chases a loose ball.

A spirited and youthful Sydney FC outfit have fallen 4-0 to Japanese Champions Kawasaki Frontale this evening in the AFC Champions League, just 48 hours after their Hyundai A-League Grand Final victory in Perth.

The Sky Blues went into the contest without any of the starting line-up from Sunday night’s Grand Final triumph, while Kawasaki needed a win and some results to go their way to sneak into the knockout stages of the competition.

The visitors knocked in two goals in the opening twenty minutes through midfielder Yasuto Wakizaka, before an unlucky deflection off Patrick Scibilio in the 28th minute gave Ao Tanaka a goal as they took a 3-0 lead into the halftime break.

The Japanese champions extended their lead just before the hour mark through a fantastic Leandro Damiao finish off a counter attack, but after that it the Sky Blues fought hard and even created a few chances of their own.

In his Sydney FC debut Tom Heward-Belle produced multiple quality saves and showed the club would be in great hands if something ever happened to the first choice shot-stopper, while Reza Ghoochannejhad fought valiantly as the most experienced member of the line-up.

It wasn’t to be this time around for the home side, but it was a fantastic opportunity for some young Sky Blues to get a taste of first-team football in the toughest competition in Asia as a successful season officially concludes.

Retre slides in
Paulo Retre slides in for a tackle.

What They Said:

Head Coach Steve Corica: “We expected it to be difficult here tonight, we had limited preparation after only arriving back in Sydney last night. It was a good experience for the younger boys and I hope they take something out of that game against a really good side.

“The young boys worked really hard, I thought they were good in the second half and far more compact. We even created a couple of chances which was good to see and it was great for me too to see what these younger boys are going to offer. I thought Tom Heward-Belle had a good game, made some great saves and he was under a lot of pressure and handled it well. There was a lot of positives to take out of it.

“I really believe we had opportunities to go through what was a really tough group, and I think we deserved to win both the first two games at home. We’ll definitely take some lessons out of it and hopefully improve on it next time around and go through.

“I’m really proud of everyone at the club in my first season. The boys have performed great on the field, the coaches have all put in and we do really long hours to ensure we get these sorts of results. It’s great to bring back another trophy to this great club, to now have four championships is something truly special and we will certainly look to add some more silverware next season.”

Austin in action
Mitch Austin takes on the Kawasaki defence.

Sydney FC: 30. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 8. Paulo RETRE © 11. Daniel DE SILVA 16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD 17. Anthony CACERES (28. Marco TILIO 74’) 18. Jacob TRATT 24. Cam DEVLIN (27. Jeremy SKOTADIS 84’) 25. Joel KING, 31. Luke IVANOVIC (21. Mitch AUSTIN 68’) 33. Liam MCGING 34. Patrick SCIBILIO

SUBS NOT USED: 20. Alex CISAK 37. Hamish LAMBERTON

Yellow Cards: Retre 86’

Red Cards: None.

Kawasaki Frontale: 1. Jung SUNGRYONG (GK) 5. Shogo TANIGUCHI © (16. Tatsuya HASEGAWA 83’) 6. Hidemasa MORITA 7. Shintaro KURUMAYA 9. Leandro DAMIAO (20. Kei CHINEN 70’) 19. Manabu SAITO (8. Hiroyuki ABE 62’) 25. Ao TANAKA 26. Magno Jose DE SILVA 28. Yasuto WAKIZAKA 29. Michael FITZGERALD 34. Kazuya YAMAMURA

SUBS NOT USED: 2. Kyohei NOBORIZATO 10. Ryoto OHSHIMA 21. Shoto ARAI (GK) 27. Yuto SUZUKI

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None.

Ground: Jubilee Stadium

Attendance: 3,813

Referee: Mohanad Qasim Eesee Sarray