Sydney FC crash out of Asian Champions League while Melbourne City is one step closer to knock-outs

Sydney FC’s wretched record in the Asian Champions League has continued as they bowed out of the tournament with yet another loss in Vietnam.

The Sky Blues went ahead in Thursday’s penultimate group stage match against Jeonbuk through Adam Le Fondre’s first-half goal, but were then outplayed 3-2 by their slick Korean opponents.

A third straight group defeat in Ho Chi Minh City left Steve Corica’s side still without a win in group H as their chances of progressing to the knock-out stages finally disappeared completely.

Once again, Sydney’s domestic success could not be replicated on the international beat. They now look at a record which reads just one win in their last 18 group stage matches of the Asian Champions League.

They have one last chance to earn a victory from their fruitless trip before returning to Australia when they face Vietnamese side Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Sunday’s final match.

The Sky Blues looked on track to earn their first win on Friday after veteran former Premier League player Le Fondre broke a dreary first-half deadlock with his sixth ACL goal in the 40th minute.

Adam Le Fondre (left) opened the scoring for Sydney just before half-time, but Jeonbuk surged into the lead in the second half.(Getty Images: Minh Hoang)

But a re-energised Jeonbuk equalised four minutes into the second half, with Sky Blues defender Liam McGing caught napping by a long ball from the back which allowed Kyo-Won Han to nip in and score.

Sydney had their moments early in the second period, especially when Kim Bo-kyung deflected Luciano Narsingh’s 55th-minute cross onto his own crossbar.

However, Jeonbuk’s quality in stifling conditions began to tell as they took over, with their Russian top scorer, Stanislav Iljutcenko, pouncing from close range in the 67th minute after incisive work from Kim Jin-su down the left flank.

Kim’s header soon afterwards struck the bar before the Korean international was again involved in a brilliant team move for their third, which ended with Brazilian international Gustavo scoring his 14th ACL goal in the 79th minute.

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Gustavo could have made it four soon afterwards but his shot hit the post.

Sydney have to be praised for still battling when firmly on the back foot, and young striker Patrick Wood’s scrambled goal in stoppage time did at least give Jeonbuk momentary cause for concern.

However, the Koreans comfortably survived to set up a last-match showdown with Kevin Muscat’s Yokohama F. Marinos, who beat Hoang Anh Gia Lai 2-0 to lead the group by one point from Jeonbuk.

Only the winners will be guaranteed qualification alongside the best second-placed teams, of which fellow Australian outfit Melbourne City will likely be a part after securing a 0-0 draw against BG Pathum United on Wednesday.

City currently sit second in Group G, two points clear of Jeonnam Dragons in third. Their sixth and final match comes against bottom-placed United City on Sunday.

AAP

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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