AFC Champions League news

Sydney face 'must win' game

April 7, 2011

Sydney FC coach Viteszlav Lavicka certainly hasn't given up hope, but he realises it's going to be an uphill battle for his side to reach the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League.

Two wasted opportunities to maximise home ground advantage have checked Sydney's progress.

Following a scoreless draw against Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings in their opening Group H match last month, Sydney drew 1-1 with China's Shanghai Shenhua at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday.

The Sky Blues now sit third on the table after Wednesday's other group match between Suwon and Japanese outfit Kashima Antlers also ended in a 1-1 draw.

That left Sydney level on two points with the Japanese side, but three points adrift of Suwon - not where Lavicka had expected his team to beat this stage.

"Of course we are (already behind)," a disappointed Lavicka said on Thursday.

"Two points from two home games is not enough for us at this stage of the competition.

"But the competition is still going. Every game is difficult but every game it's possible to pick up points.

"Now we've got to make a quick recovery from this game and focus on the following games."

Sydney now have one last home match when they face Kashima next week before playing their remaining group games on the road.

Originally scheduled for March 10, the fixture had to be postponed in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami - it will now be played at the Sydney Football Stadium next Wednesday.

Midfielder Stuart Musialik, who along with goal scorer Nicky Carle was a standout in Wednesday night's match, feels a win is crucial if they are to make it past the group stage.

"I think it probably is (a must-win match)," said the stand-in skipper who wears the armband while Terry McFlynn serves his two-match suspension.

"We want to get as many points as we can at home.

"Tonight was definitely a game that slipped away so next week is definitely one we want to look to win."