Matchday Six - Group H: Tame end for Sydney FC, Shanghai Shenhua
Sydney: Sydney FC’s 2018 AFC Champions League campaign came to a frustrating end after a 0-0 draw with China’s Shanghai Shenhua on Tuesday.
The Sky Blues came into the match knowing their fate in the competition was out of their hands, needing to win and then hope Suwon Samsung Bluewings didn’t beat Kashima Antlers in the other Group H encounter in Japan.
The home side flew out of the blocks looking for the goal they needed to ease the nerves around the Sydney Football Stadium, and they should’ve found it when Adrian Mierzejewski played a delightful through ball for Bobo, releasing the Brazilian striker one-on-one with Qiu Shengjiong, but the Shanghai custodian produced a fine save to put the ball out for a corner.
With news of a goal to Suwon in the other game, Sydney’s plight became more precarious as Graham Arnold’s side created a plethora of chances in the opening half, with Mierzejewski, Alex Brosque and Luke Wilkshire all trying their luck, but try as they might they simply couldn’t manage to put the ball in the back of the net.
That trend continued in the second half as Josh Brillante, David Carney and Mierzejewski again all came close, but the more Sydney pushed the more desperate Shanghai defended, with the visitors, who were already eliminated coming into this match, holding out for a hard-fought point to eliminate the home side from the competition. The draw wasn’t enough to lift Shanghai off the bottom of the group though, finishing on five points, one point behind Sydney FC.