Sydney can’t afford repeat of moments to forget in Asian Champions League

That A-League Fan Roar Guru

By That A-League Fan, That A-League Fan is a Roar Guru

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11 Have your say

    Sydney FC are having a good season but have had a few below-average performances throughout.

    To win the Asian Champions League, they’ll have to minimize these types of errors. Here are the worst performances by the overconfident, yet dominant title challenges who think they’ll be able to win the ACL, as well as break their most goals in a season record with 66.

    That may be the case, but if they produce another performance like one of the following, they should kiss these ambitions goodbye.

    2-0 loss against Central Coast
    The Mariners won their first game of the season in style. It was a 2-0 victory, but Sydney had a few chances of their own to get one back and failed to do so. The closest was Alex Wilkinson, who hit the upright from a free kick.

    The 2-0 losses were due to a shaky Sydney FC defence with lapses of concentration. Some slick Mariners movement and poor positioning from Michael Zullo left Andrew Hoole one on one with the keeper. The other goal saw Josh Brilliante unable to stay with Jake McGing from a corner.

    0-0 draw against Adelaide United
    Most of this Adelaide United team were making their first starts of the season, as some of their key young players (Paul Izzo, George Blackwood and Benjamin Garuccio) were absent due to international duty in China.

    Furthermore, more experienced players and regular Vince Lia, Johan Absalonsen, Nathan Kostandopoulous, Ryan Kitto, Nikola Mileusnic, Taylor Regan and Tarek Elrich were all injured. In total, ten of their players were missing.

    The squad had an average age of 23.45, with players Lachlan Brook, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Mark Ochieng making their first-ever starts. That’s not mentioning that 30-year-old Ersan Gulum was taken off before halftime, also due to injury and was replaced by 21-year-old Ben Warland, which reduces the average squad age to 22.6.

    In addition to this, Marco Kurz had to change his formation and put a few of his players in unfamiliar positions.

    It’s not that Adelaide completely dominated, but left back (out of position) Ryan Strain hit the crossbar, Bobo was kept very quiet by Jordan Elsey and could only get rid of the ball, finding the way of an Adelaide player. Adrian Mierzejewski also wasted some good opportunities, mainly being Daniel Margush’s or Ben Warland’s defensive errors.

    1-1 draw against Central Coast
    Although the result didn’t suggest it, the performance was absolutely appalling. Sydney was off the pace for the whole first half and were incredibly lucky not to be 2-0 down before halftime.

    The first goal was pathetic. Josh Brilliante passed the ball, Kwabena Appiah intercepted it right in front of goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and then Redmayne trips him. After just six minutes, Blake Powell had the Mariners in the lead.

    Sydney’s passing was appalling, especially Josh Brilliante’s awful backpass led to the first goal and that wasn’t the only poor pass he made. He attempted 80 passes, predominately simple ones, with only around 75 per cent accuracy. Michael Zullo’s crossing wasn’t as effective as normal either and didn’t create any goal scoring opportunities.

    Bobo saved the day to level the scores for the Sky Blues, but even after that Sydney FC never settled.

    All of these instances are a variety of errors. Lacking the goal-scoring touch in one game, poor positioning and a lack of concentration in another as well as poor passing.

    The tougher Asian teams won’t let these types of mistakes beat them, so Sydney will need to be at their best in the ACL.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • February 14th 2018 @ 6:55pm
      Kangajets said | February 14th 2018 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

      This in intriguing

      I know what Sydney do well, they attack with great cohesion and skill , they defend with great organisation and routine fouling of opponents.
      Will that work at home tonight against an opponent I have no idea about. I think yes they will win 3-1 , especially if they can get away with rotation of fouls .

      What I really hope to see is an open attack minded game like the Victory v Ulsan game last night .

      Will Graeme Arnold and his foulers brilliante and o Neill allow an open exciting game ??? I would love to see it . But with Sydney, it’s usually roughhouse rules , prove me wrong for a change Sydney and win some fans back to the A league, who love the beautiful game .

    • February 15th 2018 @ 9:44am
      Chopper said | February 15th 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Sydney win in the A league when their form drops by bullying their opponents. I think last not they got bullied and they had a ref that didn’t care that they were being bullied. In the A League they have had a charmed life with referees receiving a lot less cards and send offs than they deserve and hence they have been able to keep the same side week after week. Karma.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 10:10am
      Nemesis said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Sydney FC are a great team – perhaps the best in the ALeague history … at punishing opponents’ mistakes.

      Particularly mistakes made by opponents in the SydFC half when all the opposition are pushing forward & the opposition defence line is high up the park and there is a huge gap between the final defender & the GK/goal.

      SydFC wait for this scenario. Then they pounce. And, to be fair, when they pounce they pounce with precision. Maybe, a thuggish tackle to win possession, then quick short passes to send the ball into space whilst 4-5 players stream forward to create options. And they finish with precision.

      But, SydFC are clueless if the opposition don’t turn the ball over, or don’t give them big gaps to exploit.

      Welcome to Asia, Arnie. If this is how you set the National Team to play, we won’t be going to Qatar 2022.

      • Roar Guru

        February 15th 2018 @ 10:31am
        That A-League Fan said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Agreed. But they’re convinced they can never be punished when they make mistakes themselves.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 10:41am
          Nemesis said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          But, the reality is: Sydney FC don’t get punished in ALeague when they make mistakes. ALeague clubs are too busy trying to copy Ange’s style of football they don’t have the ability to play simple, efficient football if the opportunity presents. If a mistake is made and huge gap opens, like robots most teams continue to play zig zag football and the moment is lost.

          Only Jets – & to an extent Perth Glory – are willing to play direct, efficient football.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 10:32am
      Square Nostrils said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

      Nemesis I’ve been puzzled all this season and last how Sydney FC have been winning .Without obviously doing much (as I’ve wrote on a couple of occassions )they score a goal, your explanation seems as good as any as to why.
      But regardless, the expectations of the Australian football public regarding the Asian Champions League are overall over the top. Same scenario regarding expectation was directed at the Roar under Ange when they dominated the A-League. Where’s the past history to show that A-League teams are big players in the ACL?
      The following table shows that Korean clubs are the “Head honch’s of that competition with 11 titles and runners up 6 times, Australia rank 10th on that table with 1 title and runners up once.
      Arnie was accused of disrespect or naivety towards Asia when he was in charge during the 2007(I think) Asian Cup, deja vu maybe.

    • Roar Guru

      February 15th 2018 @ 10:41am
      That A-League Fan said | February 15th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

      Just goes to show how poor Australian football is compared to other countries.

      • February 22nd 2018 @ 10:55am
        Kangajets said | February 22nd 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report


        It goes to show that other Asian countries clubs have more money to buy better players.

        Australia are current champions of Asia

    • February 15th 2018 @ 11:20am
      Fadida said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      I thought Sydney looked tired. With the A-League sown up I don’t know why on earth they didn’t rotate heavily in their last game. This has a big impact.

      I scoffed at the suggestion they could win the ACL. Look at the back up for Bobo.

      I won’t write a eulogy for Australian football after one game though.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 11:26am
        Nemesis said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        Tired? From what?

        And, Arnie tells us every week they’re the fittest team in the world & they’re rarely playing at more than 29% in the ALeague.

        MVFC didn’t look tired and we had the same gap between matches. Plus, MV were chasing shadows for 90 mins in their ALeague match, Sydney were cruising in their ALeague match.

        If any team should’ve been exhausted physically & mentally, it would be MVFC. Sydney should be on a high.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 12:01pm
        Square Nostrils said | February 15th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

        “I won’t write a eulogy for Australian football after one game though.”

        That would be foolish Fadida, given that some of the wins by clubs in countries higher up the list won in less competitive times. Looking at the list ,the A-League was not even a twinkle in Franks eye when Thailand won its 2 titles in the mid Nineties, Qatar also won 1 of their 2 titles in 1989 and Israel with 3 titles are long gone from Asia.
        The message is not to wallow in the glass half empty world , but to maintain the glass half full mentality and keep plugging away to make the A-League better.
        Australia’s main competitors remain Japan ,Korea and China. MItchell Duke said the other day that Some of the Japanese University players were as good as A-league players. Three options call it B+++==it, lament/wallow or analyse/correct. The first two GHE the last GHF.
        Generally I have little time for the US culture, but the Ultra Alpha GHF male Don Garber stuck by his guns and turned around the dead on its feet MLS a few years ago in a sporting market that P–66ws on Australia in terms of major Leagues.
        GIven Gallops comments yesterday he sounds more like “Bemoaning Ron” rather than the answer to Americas “BIg Don”.

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