Talking Points: Sydney FC 0 Shanghai Shenhua 0 – ACL campaign comes...

Talking Points: Sydney FC 0 Shanghai Shenhua 0 – ACL campaign comes to a frustrating end

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Sydney FC and Shanghai Shenhua played out a 0-0 draw in their final group stage fixture of the Asian Champions League on Tuesday night.

Graham Arnold’s men dominated the match and had plenty of chances to win. The task was difficult with it being a meaningless result for Shanghai though, who decided to park the bus to keep the hosts scoreless.

It was a frustrating 90 minutes for the Sky Blues and contentious decisions did not help Sydney’s case.

Magnificent Mierzejewski

Adrian Mierzejewski was brilliant all match. The Polish attacker did not take long to make an impact, as his ball from near halfway split the middle of the opposition defence – but unfortunately for Sydney, Bobo could not convert.

His delivery was great throughout, including a superb cross with the outside of his left boot from the right-wing which was on a platter for David Carney – who headed wide.

Late on Mierzejewski also produced a powerful volley on target, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.

Sydney’s wasted chances

Arnold’s side had an abundance of chances to win the match. In the early moments, Bobo found himself one-on-one with the opposition custodian.

There were plenty of moments where Sydney should have scored, but could not make contact with the ball.

Luke Wilkshire also came agonisingly close, with his strike going just wide of the post following some brilliant play by Bobo and Mierzejewski.

Sydney finished with 70% possession and had 21 attempts on goal (five on target).

After an impressive 4-1 away win over Suwon, the Sky Blues will be thinking back to the previous home losses to Kashima Antlers and the Bluewings that ultimately proved costly.

Contentious decisions

During the first half, Milos Ninkovic was knocked down after a Shanghai defender made contact with the Serbian’s back.

During the final third of proceedings, Ben Warland and Alex Wilkinson were being held by opponents inside the box during a set piece delivery.

In the final stages of the match Sydney were punished for a foul on the Shanghai goalkeeper during a corner, while replays showed he fell over a teammate. All of these indecisions potentially proved decisive.

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