Australian clubs have now won just seven of their last 38 Asian Champions League matches, but how many can feel as hard done by as Sydney FC?
The Sky Blues dominated the majority of their encounter against Ulsan Hyundai but finished with nothing to show for it, slipping to a 1-0 loss to Ulsan Hyundai.
The US national team's former midfielder and Manchester City loanee, Mix Diskerud, did the damage through a cheeky backheel on the 54th minute against the run of play.
Anthony Caceres and Danny De Silva both shot straight at Oh Seung Hoon from dangerous positions as a profligate Sydney wasted key chances in the second half.
The Sky Blues are now eliminated along with Melbourne Victory and Australia stands a very real chance of exiting the Champions League without a win.
The loss leaves Sydney with just one win in their past 15 Champions League encounters but the statistics are dire across the board. Due to A-League clubs' porous performances in the competition, Australia now sits behind Thailand in the AFC ranking coefficient.
There are no Australian clubs in the top 20 ranked sides in Asia. To make matters worse for the Aussies, AFC plan to eventually remove FIFA ranking points as a factor for their club rankings, which could see Australia drop dramatically.
|Ranking||Member Association||Total Points||FIFA Points||Club Points||2018||2017||2016||2015|
|4||1||-3||United Arab Emirates||84.536||1309||8.839||62.450||75.697||8.100||11.350||18.000||25.000|
This could mean that the A-League loses its two automatic Champions League qualification places, even with an extra team set to enter the competition at the beginning of next season.
To recap Australia's recent performances in Asia:
- Socceroos slump out of Asian Cup at the quarter-finals
- Both A-League powerhouses exit the ACL at the group stage and could leave winless
- Australia now ranked behind Thailand (9th) in AFC club coefficient
- A-League clubs have seven wins in their last 38 ACL matches
- Sydney just one win in their last 15 matches
"I thought we had the best chances of the game, we had three one-on-ones with the keeper and they should have scored," a resilient Steve Corica said.
"I'm very proud of our boys. Credit to Ulsan, but I think we should have won the game."