Suwon Bluewings ease past profligate Sydney

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Sydney FC came to Suwon World Cup Stadium knowing the equation.

It was three points or nothing. After failing to get three points at home in three encounters, the Sky Blues had news that Kashima Antlers’ had had a 2-0 win at home earlier in the day against Shanghai Shenhua.

Sydney FC took great confidence from their come from behind win against Shanghai in China’s most populace city and started brightly in a brisk opening from both sides.

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Sydney’s close passing game was a highlight with Carle at the centrepiece of most creativity. Suwon Bluewings though spread quickly at pace when possession changed hands with players hitting wide areas early.

Suwon had their first opportunity in the 15th minute as a cheap free kick provided by a fired up Matthew Jurman allowed the Koreans a set piece from a dangerous area. Park Jong-Jin lofted the leather at rugged defender Heeju whose strong header in traffic struck the cross bar.

In the 28th minute Nick Carle, who had already put in a superb shift to leave the Korean crowd audibly gasping, made a deft run in possession down the left. The ball found its way back to Stuart Musialik who crossed expertly to hit Durante. The on-loan right back unfortunately couldn’t compose himself, lashing over from the back post.

Suwon had not lost a single game at home in their Asian Champions League history and a great counter in 33rd minute saw Sydney FC exposed on their left hand side. Jamieson fouled and earned himself a yellow card for his efforts to provide respite for out of position Sky Blues’ defenders.

A superb free kick drew ‘keeper Liam Reddy to an impossible ball as Ha Tae-Gyun beat Durante to head home from close range. Bluewings up 1-0.

It was not over there as Suwon kept up the pressure, a whipped corner had another header hitting the cross-bar. Sydney not performing from the set-piece as Park Jong-Jin was having a day out.

Soon after half time, a poor lofted central pass from Scott Jamieson put Sky Blue defenders under pressure and Andrew Durante was forced to bring down an advancing Lee Sang-Ho. Bluewings Croatian Captain Mato stepped up to slot home the free kick from just outside the edge of the area. Replays revealed Keller showed a distinct lack of commitment in the wall.

Sydney drew one goal back immediately through a superb piece of lead up play from Jurman whose commitment by contrast could not be questioned. The outgoing young centre-back fed substitute Rhyan Grant with a measured through-ball whose first time cross fell to Mark Bridge who laid on the assist to Bruno Cazarine for the goal. 2-1.

Minutes later Keller found his feet for the team making a good run in possession before the ball made its way to Carle who found Terry McFlynn. The Sydney FC captain hit Cazarine again for a header which had Suwon ‘keeper Jung Sung-Ryong scrambling, saving and holding.

In the 75th minute, Suwon left the door open for Sydney when tough work from Carle led to a superb opportunity on the break with three Aussies advancing on one South Korean defender. Durante unfortunately could not hit Grant or Cazarine as it ran to the ‘keeper. No more was Sydney’s lack of killer instinct in the last calendar year shown.

As the game wore on Sydney’s pressing-passing style gave way to long ball desperation.

Suwon took advantage of the gifted possession putting the match out of Sydney’s grasp through a world class shot from Yeom Ki-Hun.

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The swerving sliced shot hit from the far right edge of the area hit Reddy’s far post netting and hit it hard. Although Reddy’s positioning could have been better, the shot took full advantage of a mere matter of inches of space.

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Suwon 3-1 and safely through to the next round.

Suwon could have made it four through substitute Gremista Bergson but the match finished 3-1 to the South Korean giants.

Sydney will travel to Kashima in their final group stage match next Tuesday at Tokyo National Stadium on May 10.

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