A frustrating but entertaining night in China ends at 2-2, between Sydney and Shanghai Shenhua – a thrilling game that could have gone either way.
Despite an encouraging performance, the Sky Blues remain bottom of their Asian Champions League group and face an uphill battle to progress to the next round.
Goals from Luke Wilkshire and Alex Brosque ensured that Graham Arnold’s men picked up their first points of the campaign, but failed to take all three points back to Sydney.
Colombian midfielder, Fredy Guarin was Shenhua’s key player on the night and scored the decisive goal – an accurate volley from outside the penalty area.
The Sky Blues now face the challenge of putting their missed opportunity behind them, as they entertain Western Sydney in the A-League on Sunday night.
Sydney’s next Champions League match is in two weeks’ time; at home to group leaders, Kashima Antlers, where they must win to keep their hopes of progressing alive.
Sydney FC Player Ratings
Andrew Redmayne – 5.5
The Sydney goalkeeper was at full stretch to clear a speculative cross and made the mistake of not punching the ball away from goal. As a result, Colombian midfielder, Freddy Guarin accurately volleyed the ball into the far corner making it 2-2. Midway through the second half, Guarin looked certain to score his second but his effort was brilliantly saved by the Sky-Blue keeper.
Luke Wilkshire – 7
Out of nowhere, the Sydney defender appeared unmarked – responding to a Bobo rebound, which Wilkshire finished without any trouble. The veteran’s goal levelled things up three minutes after Shaghai’s opening goal, reinstating Sydney’s foothold in the game.
Aaron Calver – 6.5
Calver’s last-ditch attempt to clear a dangerous cross didn’t go to plan, as Martins slid in to claim the opening goal of the game. Tracking the movements of the experienced Nigerian striker was always going to be a challenge for the youngster and he shouldn’t be disappointed by his performance.
Alex Wilkinson – 6.5
On more than once occasion Wilkinson was Sydney’s last man at the back. Whether he was cutting out a through ball or blocking a shot from distance, the Sydney defender protected Redmayne at all costs.