Sydney FC 1 (Buhagiar 29') drew w. Yokohama F. Marinos 1 (Saneto 18’)
Sydney FC have ended their AFC Champions League campaign with an impressive performance against J1 League giants Yokohama F. Marinos, playing out a 1-1 draw in Qatar.
Moments That Mattered:
- HEWARD-BELLE SAVE - 17’ - A brilliant save as Tom Heward-Belle beats away a thunderous volleyed effort from Yokohama off a dangerous corner.
- SANETO GOAL - 18’ - Another volley from a corner, this one squeezing in the near post past an outstretched Heward-Belle to give the Japanese side the lead.
- HEWARD-BELLE SAVE - 20 - Another top quality save from the Sky Blues’ keeper, diving rapidly to his right to palm away a low driven effort.
- BUHAGIAR GOAL - 29’ – Alex Baumjohann beats a man and slips a sweet ball in behind for the rapid striker who latches on and makes no mistake, bending an effort around the keeper to level proceedings.
- IVANOVIC CHANCE - 44’ - A quickly taken free kick nearly sees Sydney FC take the lead with a ball squared to Luke Ivanovic just evading the boot of the striker.
- BAUMJOHANN CHANCE - 47’ – Alex Baumjohann plays a one-two, nutmegs the last the defender and tries to stab the ball past an onrushing keeper only for Takaoka’s legs to deny a perfect start to the second half.
- HEWARD-BELLE SAVE - 52’ - Another low diving save to the left from the Sky Blues’ custodian, pushing the ball away from danger.
What They Said: Steve Corica: "I thought we had the two best chances of the game so I think we did deserve more, I thought we played really.
We started to get tired towards the end of the game, but I'm very pleased with the performance and we were unlucky not to get the win against a very good team.
"I think they [Yokohama] will go a long way in this tournament so I wish them all the best."
Captain Alex Wilkinson: "It's always a difficult match against a team with such quality like Yokohama but I thought we defended very well today.
"We had a few chances to win the game but the Japanese teams keep the ball very well and I'm proud of the team's effort. With a little bit more luck we could have been going through to the next round."
A rapid, and entertaining end to end encounter ensued from the first whistle, with both Sydney FC and Yokohama F. Marinos positive in their approach to the contest.
Following a quality save from Tom Heward-Belle off a Yokohama corner, the Japanese side took the lead from the follow up as defender Yuki Saneto’s low volleyed effort just crept inside the near post.
Sydney FC weathered a storm and flurry of chances from Yokohama to steadily fight their way back in the contest.
This was duly rewarded just before the half hour mark as Trent Buhagiar finished off a threaded pass from Alex Baumjohann to become the club’s outright top goal scorer in the AFC Champions League.
It was much the same flow to the match in the second half as both sides attacked with intent in an enthralling contest.
Sydney FC came closest to taking the lead shortly after the restart as Baumjohann played a one-two to then beat the last defender and came close to poking past the keeper’s right but for a reaction save from Takaoka’s legs.
Chances would prove few and far between in the remainder of the half as the match ended all square with no doubt many positives being taken by Head Coach Steve Corica.
The side will return home and begin preparations to defend their A-League Premiership and Championship crowns, starting with a blockbuster Grand Final replay against Melbourne City on December 30th.
Sydney FC: 20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN (21. Harry Van Der SAAG 73’), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (27. Jordi SWIBEL 73’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Luke IVANOVIC (11. Kosta BARBAROUSES 62’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN (19. Chris ZUVELA 45’), 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF.
Subs: 40. Levi KAYE (GK), 3. Ben WARLAND, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 33. Partick WOOD.
Yellow Cards: 21. Harry Van Der SAAG 85'
Red Cards: None.
Yokohama F. Marinos: 32. Yohei TAKAOKA (GK), 7. Yuki OTSU (8. Takuya KIDA 75’), 15. Makito ITO, 18. Kota MIZUNUMA (43. Eitaro MATSUDA 67’), 19. Yuki SANETO, 25. Ryuta KOIKE, 26. Kota WATANABE, 33. Takuya WADA, 38. Daizen MAEDA, 39. Jun AMANO, 45. Ado ONAIWU.
Subs: 34. Hirotsugu NAKABAYASHI (GK), 5. Theerathon BUNMATHAN, 9. Marcos JUNIOR, 13. Thiago MARTINS, 16. Ryo TAKANO, 17. ERIK, 23. Teruhito NAKAGAWA, 27. Ken MATSUBARA,
Yellow Cards: 19. Yuki SANETO 41, 15. Makito ITO 84'
Red Cards: None.