Corica remains hopeful for Sydney FC’s 2019 ACL campaign

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Despite being at the bottom of Group H in the AFC Champions League, Sydney FC’s Head Coach Steve Corica hasn’t surrendered just yet.

Sydney FC only have three points after their last four games in the Champions League – but picking up a point on Tuesday night against Shanghai SIPG might have been just enough to keep them in the race to qualify.

Sydney FC led 1-0 after the first 45 minutes, but the Chinese side scored twice early in the second half. Striker Adam Le Fondre equalised for the Sky Blues mid-way through the second half, with the game finishing a 2-2 draw.

The Sky Blues are currently two points behind the Chinese champions, and are set to play group leaders Ulsan Hyundai and Kawasaki Frontale in their two remaining games of the group stage.

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Corica says that his side will need at least four points from these games to remain in contention.

“In every game of the campaign, we’ve had opportunities to win the game. I believe that we can still qualify with one win and maybe a draw, or two wins.

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The Sky Blues gaffer was impressed with his side after their 2-2 draw against Shanghai SIPG.

“I was very pleased with the performance from our boys, the first half especially. We were the better team, and second half we still hung in there and played some very good, very entertaining football.

“I’m very proud of our boys for the effort… they’ve got some good players, and we’ve shown character in both of the games we’ve played against them.

Sydney FC’s first game against the Chinese champions also ended with the points divided: a 3-3 draw at Jubilee Stadium.

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Corica assured fans that the A-League didn’t take precedence over the AFC Champions League, and that his side would do all they could to secure three points in their next group stage game in two weeks.

“Both are very important, but we’ll be focusing on the Champions League next game.

“We’re going to go there with a strong squad to win the game because I believe that we can still qualify with one win and maybe a draw, or two wins.”

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.