Sydney FC 4 (Wilkinson 28’, Brattan 33’, Buhagiar 57’, 61') def. Shanghai SIPG 0
Sydney FC have run rampant against Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG, recording the club’s largest ever AFC Champions League win by scoring four unanswered goals in a comprehensive display in Qatar.
Moments That Mattered:
- PAVLESIC INJURY - 3’ - The young goalkeeper dives to bravely punch away a free kick and suffers a significant head knock in the process. An early change is necessary with Tom Heward-Belle brought into the contest.
- OSCAR CHANCE - 14’ - A slick one-two from Shanghai leads to the Brazilian unleashing a swift snapshot which is smothered.
- WILKINSON GOAL - 28’ -The Captain scores his first Sydney FC and AFC Champions League goal, nodding home emphatically from inside the 6 yard box following a corner.
- BRATTAN GOAL - 33' - An absolute thunderbolt of a strike from Luke Brattan leaves the Shanghai keeper no chance, finding the top corner of the net from some 25 yards following some slick interplay and layoff from Anthony Caceres. His first goal in Sky Blue.
- BUHAGIAR CHANCE - 36’ - Almost a quick fire three from Sydney FC as Caceres looks to tee up Trent Buhagiar this time, however the striker’s close-range effort is just kept out by Wei.
- BUHAGIAR GOAL - 57’ – Kosta Barbarouses plays a dangerous ball in behind which is pounced on by Buhagiar who rounds both the goalkeeper and his marker to pass into an empty net.
- BUHAGIAR GOAL - 61’ - Buhagiar with a quick fire double following a beautiful ball from Caceres, finishing clinically as the striker slots home to the left of stranded keeper to become Sydney FC’s equal highest ever AFC Champions League goalscorer.
- WARLAND CLEARANCE - 71’ - A dangerous Oscar corner is met by the Shanghai striker but Ben Warland is on hand to knock the ball away from impending danger.
- HEWARD-BELLE SAVE - 84’ - A great save with the legs of the substitute keeper following a low driven effort inside the box from Ricardo Lopes.
- CACERES FREE KICK - 89' - A wickedly hit free kick almost notches the Sky Blues’ midfielder a goal to go with his two assists, as his driven effort is just punched clear by Wei.
What They Said: Head Coach Steve Corica: "I'm very pleased for the players, they deserved that game and played really well.
"They dominated from start to finish and scored some excellent goals. Trent Buhagiar scored two great goals and maybe could have ended up with more.
"I think that game has been coming and today we showed exactly what we can do.
"We finished the game with eight boys 24 years old or younger tonight and the majority of them played the last 25 minutes and didn't look in any danger against a very good Shanghai SIPG team."
Trent Buhagiar: "It was another very good performance from the boys. We deserved a result from the start as we've been performing very well in this competition, even before the break.
"We've been performing without getting the results, but today we performed and we got the 4-0 result but it should have been more."
Sydney FC dominated the near entirety of the first half, imposing themselves in an attacking manner and coming under only occasional threat from the Chinese Super League outfit.
This dominance was rewarded through a less than likely source as the man with the armband Alex Wilkinson latched onto a Rhyan Grant nod on from a corner, heading home from close range to give the Sky Blues a deserved lead.
There wasn’t a long wait for the Sky Blues to double the advantage and in style too as Luke Brattan found the top corner of the net with a thumping driven effort from some 25 yards.
Trent Buhagiar would have the lion’s share of remaining chances in the half, coming the closest shortly after Brattan’s wonder goal but it wasn’t to be as the Sky Blues’ settled for a two goal lead at the break.
Shanghai looked a rejuvenated side in the early stages following the restart as they imposed themselves more in a contest that they had been second best in for large parts.
However, Head Coach Steve Corica’s men weathered the temporary flurry from their opponents to then dominate proceedings and capitalise clinically in the process through a quick-fire Trent Buhagiar brace.
Coming within four minutes of each other, the striker utilised his blistering pace in both instances, rounding a keeper and defender duo for the first and slotting home coolly with the second after a defence splitting pass sent him free down the middle.
While further gloss couldn’t be added to the scoreline, the Sky Blues set a new club record for their largest ever AFC Champions League win.
It was also a night of firsts with Alex Wilkinson and Luke Brattan both notching their first ever Sydney FC goals, while Trent Buhagiar became the club’s equal leading all-time goalscorer in the competition, joining Steve Corica and Alex Brosque on the charts with four goals each.
Sydney FC will now turn their attention to their last match up of the group stage against Japanese side Yokahama F. Marinos on Friday (kick off 9pm AEDT).
Sydney FC: Adam PAVLESIC (GK) (20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK) 9’), 3. Ben WARLAND, 4. Alex WILKINSON (2. Patrick FLOTTMANN 78’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC (18. Luke IVANOVIC 64’), 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12. Trent BUHAGIAR, 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES, 23. Rhyan GRANT (21. Harry Van Der SAAG 64’), 26. Luke BRATTAN (5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN 45’), 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF
Subs: 40. Levi KAYE (GK), 19. Chris ZUVELA, 27. Jordi SWIBEL, 33. Patrick WOOD,.
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Cards: None.
Shanghai SIPG: 34. Chen WEI (GK), 3. Yu RUI (9. Ricardo LOPES 45’), 4. Wang SHENCHAO, 8. OSCAR, 11. Lu WENJUN (37. Chen BINBIN 66’), 14. Li SHENGLONG, 16. Mirahmetjan MUZEPPER (20. Yang SHIYUAN 45’), 23. Fu HUAN, 24. Lei WENJIE, 26. Aaron MOOY (15. Lin CHUANGYI 65’), 28. He GUAN (21. Yu HAI 45’).
Subs: 22. Sun LE (GK), 6. Cai HUIKANG, 18. Zhang YI, 39. Liu ZHURUN, 40. Chunxin CHEN.
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Cards: None.