Sky Blues Rue Missed Opportunities

Sydney FC 0 def. by Ulsan Hyundai 1 (Diskerud 60’)

Sydney FC have learned the hard way about the narrow margins of the AFC Champions League, bowing of the competition on away goals* having lost 1-0 away to Ulsan Hyundai FC despite having the game’s best chances.

(*Sydney FC can only draw level on points with Shanghai SIPG in Group H after the final round of games in two weeks and cannot catch Ulsan. It means Shanghai would progress based on the tie-break head to head system. As the two clubs are level on goal difference and goals scored, due to the aggregate score being 5-5; the Chinese club would progress having scored more away goals thanks to the 3-3 draw in Sydney.)

Sydney FC's starting XI v Ulsan
Sydney FC's starting XI against Ulsan in Korea Republic.

Moments That Mattered:

  1. Redmayne Save – 41’ – Bo-Kyung tries his luck from 20 yards out but Redders gets two strong hands to parry away and maintain parity.
  2. Redmayne Save 57’ – Redmayne makes a strong reaction save to his right to deny Ulsan the lead.
  3. Diskerud Goal – 60’ – Ulsan’s American star has his back to goal and backheels the ball into the bottom right.
  4. Caceres Chance – 64’ – The ball rattles around the area to fall to Caceres whose thumping effort from point blank range hits the goalkeeper’s face and gets cleared.
  5. De Silva Chance – 70’ – A half clearance from Ulsan falls to the feet of De Silva to unleash a shot from just outside the box but the keeper’s legs get in the way.
  6. Ghoochannejhad Chance – 90’ – A mistake leads to Reza being one on one with the advancing keeper but his delicate chip is too soft and an Ulsan defender clears before the ball reaches the goalline.
Luke Ivanovic tussles for the ball
Luke Ivanovic vies for possession.

Needing a win to boost their hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the competition, Sydney FC were the aggressors in the first half, maintaining the lions share of possession in high areas of the pitch as the home side chose to defend deep.

Both sides had occasional half chances with a Zullo cross finding the head of Ghoochannejhad but the Iranian watched his effort fly over the bar, while Redmayne made a good save from a long range shot from Bo-Kyung at the other end.

On the hour mark and slightly against the run of play, the K-League side took the lead as an audacious back heeled effort from their American import Diskerud found the back of the net.

This propelled Corica’s men to another gear with the side desperately unlucky not to square the ledger through Caceres, De Silva and Ghoochannejhad, as Ulsan keeper Seung-Hoon made two saves to keep his side in front.

The loss results in Sydney FC's chances of making it out of the group stage coming to an end.

Sydney FC can now focus all attention towards Sunday’s Big Blue against Melbourne Victory with a place in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final on the line.

Michael Zullo crosses
Michael Zullo gets a cross in from the sideline.

What They Said:

Steve Corica

“I thought we had the best chances of the game, we had three one on ones with the keeper and should have scored. It could have been different.

“Credit to Ulsan, they hit us on the counter but I’m proud of the boys for the game they played.”

Adam Le Fondre fouled
Adam Le Fondre tussles for the ball.

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Aaron CALVER, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO (25. Joel KING 62’), 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE (31. Luke IVANOVIC 76’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC (11. Daniel De SILVA 62’), 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJAD, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Jacob TRATT.

Subs Not Used: 20. Aleksander CISAK (GK), 21. Mitch AUSTIN, 24. Cameron DEVLIN.

Yellow Cards: 2. Aaron CALVER 65’

Red Cards: None.

Ulsan Hyundai: 20. Oh SEUNG-HOON (GK), 4. Kang MIN-SOO, 7. Kim IN-SUNG, 9. Junior NEGRAO (18. Joo MIN-KYU 72’), 13. Lee MYUNG-JAE, 14. Kim BO-KYUNG, 19. Park YONG-WOO, 20. Young SUN YUN, 22. J DONG-HO, 42. Mix DISKERUD (11. Keun-ho LEE 79’)

Subs not used: 31. Moon JUNG-IN (GK), 3. Kim MIN-DEOK, 10. Sin JIN-HO, 17. Kim SEUNG-JOON, 29. Su-An KIM.

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None.

Ground: Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium

Crowd: 1,520