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ACL Recap: Suwon Bluewings 1-4 Sydney FC



Suwon conceded ground in Group H of the 2018 Asian Champions League going down 4-1 at home to group rivals Sydney FC last night. Although Sydney FC were tactically prepared for the game and took their chances well, yet another disappointing home performance from Suwon handed the visitors an easy win and leaves the Korean giants with a difficult task to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. (Image courtesy of http://www.the-afc.com/competitions/afc-champions-league)

The warning signs were already there for Suwon before the game started when, coming off the back of their best performance of the season (their 1-0 away win in Jeju), the manager decided to make sweeping changes to a winning team. Yoo Ju-an and Lim Sang-hyub, who made a lively and fluid combination with Dejan in that 1-0 win, were replaced by Waguininho and Yeom Ki-hun, whilst Kim Jong-woo, the creator of the goal in last weekend's victory dropped to the bench to be replaced by the defensive minded Cho Ji-hun, making only his 2nd appearance of the season.

Suwon had the first meaningful attack of the night when a lively Waugininho found space in the box but his tame effort was easily handled by Sydney's goalkeeper, Andrew Redmayne. And it wasn't long after that weak effort that Sydney took the lead in the 23rd minute. A lofted ball caught Koo Ja-ryoung out of position and an unmarked Milos Ninkovic had the freedom of Suwon to chip an onrushing Shin Hwa-yong.

However, Suwon immediately pulled a goal back when a scramble in the box resulted in Dejan firing an unstoppable half-volley into the back of the net. Suwon could have perhaps capitalized on hesitance in the Sydney back line shortly after that but it was Sydney who re-took the lead on the 31st minute. A free-kick from near the corner flag was played into the near post area and a completely unmarked Alex Brosque was on hand to power home an easy header. Koo Ja-ryoung and Dejan Damjanovic had words about whose responsibility it was to pick up the Australian but with Dejan zonal marking the front post area it should almost certainly be classed as an error by the Montenigrin.

Suwon returned for the 2nd half with a little more attacking intent but they couldn't muster up anything more than a couple of Waugininho headers and some comical Suwon defending allowed Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo to add the gloss to what was a fine away performance from Sydney FC.

Suwon now head to Kashima Antlers on the final match day of the group stage knowing that a win will see them top the group. But if they fail to equal or better Sydney's result against Shanghai Shenhua then it will be another exit at the group stage for Suwon.


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