Suwon knock Sydney out of ACL

by AAP on May 03, 2011

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Sydney FC's Asian Champions League campaign has come to shuddering halt in the group stage with Korean side Suwon Samsung Bluewings inflicting a 3-1 defeat on the A-League club.

Goals from Ha Tae-Goon, Croatian import Mato Neretljak and Yeom Ki-Hun put the nail in the Sky Blues' coffin, with Sydney striker Bruno Cazarine getting one back for the visitors at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Tuesday night.

With Japanese heavyweights Kashima Antlers beating Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 earlier on Tuesday to go clear atop Group H, both teams were vying for second place before facing their last group match.

While Sydney did have some impressive spells, it was mainly one-way traffic with the Bluewings looking menacing from the start.

Striker Tae-Goon and Lee Yong-Rae both threatened early, with defender Kwak Hee-Ju's header rattling the crossbar in the 15th minute.

A schoolboy defensive error by Sydney's Swiss import Stephan Kellar almost saw the hosts break the deadlock early in the match, forcing a composed Sydney gloveman Liam Reddy to step off his line to clear the ball from approaching striker Lee Sang-Ho.

But moments later a Scott Jamieson foul saw Suwon awarded a free kick, with a waiting Tae-Goon rising up in the box to connect and blast his header into the back of the net sending the Bluewings to the break 1-0 up.

The hosts came out on the attack in the second stanza and didn't have to wait long for it to pay off, again exposing Sydney FC in a set-piece with Neretljak's free kick beating the visitors' wall for a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute.

But Sydney were lightning fast on the counter attack with Brazilian import Cazarine taking advantage of a Suwon defence caught napping to reduce the deficit for the visitors less than a minute later.

The Sky Blues missed a golden chance to equalise in the 75th minute when Andrew Durante found himself in front of goal, but instead passing to Rhyan Grant who couldn't get there before gloveman Jung Sung-Ryong cleared the effort.

Again a lacking Sydney defence paid the ultimate price when Ki-Hun was left unmarked, with his lashing left-foot strike beating Reddy, putting Suwon into the knockout phase for the third consecutive time.

Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka brought on substitutes David Williams and Kofi Danning to add some firepower to the side in the second half but it proved too little too late.

Nicky Carle, who was identified as the danger man by Suwon, had some defence-splitting runs early on but wasn't nearly enough for the visitors.