Sydney FC Defeat Champions Of Asia

Sydney FC have beaten reigning AFC Champions League holders Guangzhou Evergrande in a thrilling night at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Summary

Sydney FC 2 (Stambolziev 18’, Dimitrijevic 88’) def. Guangzhou Evergrande 1 (Huang Bowen 25’)

Sydney FC have beaten reigning AFC Champions League holders Guangzhou Evergrande in a thrilling night at the Sydney Football Stadium.

In front of over 18 thousand fans the Sky Blues pulled off a remarkable 2-1 win against the multi-million dollar team assembled by the Chinese champions.

Matt Jurman won Man of the Match keeping $65 million striker Jackson Martinez quiet while Vedran Janjetovic also saved a penalty from Ricardo Goulart.

Robert Stamobolziev opened the scoring in the first half for Graham Arnold’s men with a neat volley before Guangzhou equalised through a bursting from from Bowen.

Sydney FC had further chances to snatch a winner but Milos Dimitrijevic popped up with a fantastic late strike to secure the Sky Blues first AFC Champions League win this season.

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What They Said

Graham Arnold: "It's a wonderful night for Sydney FC, our performance tonight was outstanding. I thought we were good for the three points tonight and we have to build momentum off the back of this. It's a fantastic result to beat the Asian Champions.

“Guangzhou were at full strength and we did better than them tonight. I thought our two number 6's were fantastic and I'm very happy for Dimitrijevic, he did exceptionally well tonight."

Goals

18’ STAMBOLZIEV GOAL - A lofted ball finds Shane Smeltz in the box and he heads it down for Stambolziev to volley in.

25’ HUANG BOWEN GOAL - Guangzhou equalise as Bowen gets clear down the right channel and shoots beyond Janjetovic. As Calver tries to save the ball going over the line he can only push it into the side netting.

88’ DIMITRIJEVIC GOAL - Carney stands up his defender before feeding Milos in the area who takes a touch before finding the bottom corner.

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Key Moments

22’ JANJETOVIC SAVES PENALTY – Ryall brings down Martinez in the box and Goulart steps up to take the penalty but it’s a poor one and low just to Janjetovic’s right and he is down comfortably to save.

28’ JURMAN HITS THE BAR – O’Neill curls in a free kick from the left and finds Jurman at the far post who powers a header off the cross bar.  The rebound then appears to hit a Guangzhou hand and despite huge protestations from the Sky Blues the referee rules no penalty.

32’ MARTINEZ SOLO EFFORT – Martinez makes a run down the right hand side beating Jurman and then Grant with a sublime bit of skill.  However he puts his curling effort just wide of the Sydney FC post.

40’ CARNEY SHOT SAVED – Carney plays a one two with Smeltz coming in from the right and from just outside the box fires a low shot which their keeper has to dive and parry but no one was following up for the rebound and Guangzhou clear.

42’ SMELTZ SHOT BLOCKED – Carney makes a driving run and plays the ball to Ninkovic who lays it off to Smeltz and the strikers goal bound shot in the penalty area is blocked by an Evergrande leg.

51' SMELTZ CHANCE - Carney turns and picks out Shane Smeltz in the box with a chipped ball but his volley bounces wide.

53' HANCHAO CHANCE - Hanchao brings down a lofted ball in the box but his shot on the turn is fired wide.

56' NINKOVIC CHANCE - Ninkovic picks up a second ball just outside the box and he drives an effort at goal just wide.

84’ CARNEY CHANCE – Sydney FC break with four and two through Carney and the former Socceroo uses his team mates to cut a path through the Guangzhou backline but a last ditch tackle stops him as he was about to shoot.

Team News

Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold brought in Robert Stambolziev for his first competitive start in a Sydney FC shirt.  Aaron Calver made his first start of the season while Shane Smeltz and Mickael Tavares also came back into the side who started against Melbourne Victory at the weekend.

Sydney FC 2 (Stambolziev 18’, Dimitrijevic 88’) def. Guangzhou Evergrande 1 (Huang Bowen 25’)

Crowd: 18,149

Ground: Sydney Football Stadium

Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)

Sydney FC:  1. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Seb RYALL, 5. Matt JURMAN, 6. Rob STAMBOLZIEV (7. Andrew HOOLE 75’), 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Milos NINKOVIC (8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC 66’), 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 17. David CARNEY, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Aaron CALVER (22. Ali ABBAS 70’), 27. Mickael TAVARES.

Subs not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 4. Zac ANDERSON, 24. George BLACKWOOD, 29. Alex MULLEN.

Yellow cards: Ryall 21’, Smeltz 90+2’.

Red cards: None

Guangzhou Evergrande: 19. Zeng CHENG, 5. Zhang LINPEN, 6. Feng XIAOTING, 8. PAULINHO, 9. Jackson MARTINEZ, 10. Zheng ZHI (17. Liu JIAN 77’), 11. Ricardo GOULART, 16. Huang BOWEN (27. Zheng LONG 64’), 20. Yu HANCHAO (29. Gao LIN 90+1’), 28. Kim YOUNG GWON, 35. Li XUEPENG.

Subs not used: 32. Liu DIANZUO (gk), 2. Liao LISHENG, 3. Mei FANG, 12. Wang SHANGYUAN.

Yellow cards: Paulinho 76’.

Red cards: None.