Football 2 years ago

Sydney FC in ACL driver's seat: Carney

  • Sydney FC in ACL driver's seat: Carney

    GUANGZHOU, CHINA - MAY 03: Coach Graham Arnold of Sydney FC looks on during the AFC Asian Champions League match between Guangzhou Evergrande FC and Sydney FC at Tianhe Stadium on May 3, 2016 in Guangzhou, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

Sydney FC's precious away goal has handed them a 60-40 advantage in their bid to reach the last eight in the Asian Champions League, coach Graham Arnold says.

The Sky Blues hold the balance of power ahead of next week's home leg in their round-of-16 clash against Shandong Luneng, after David Carney's first-half header ensured a 1-1 draw in Jinan, China on Wednesday night.

The result is a major boost for Arnold's A-League side who, after a forgettable domestic season, have already made club history by reaching the knockout phase against the odds.

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A scoreless draw at Allianz Stadium next Wednesday would be enough to extend that dream run into the quarter-finals.

"I think now it will be 60-40 our way with the away goal," Arnold said.

"But also contributing is the travel Shandong will have to do. It's very difficult, it's long, it's tiring.

"We had to do it and now it's Shandong's turn.

"And we'll have a big crowd of Sydney FC fans so we'll expect a good game."

Sydney played well against Shandong but also rode their luck.

The Chinese Super League strugglers wasted several strong chances while goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic, who gave away an early penalty, went the right way moments later to deny Argentine playmaker Walter Montillo from the spot.

Though Brazilian forward Diego Tardelli equalised for the hosts early in the second half, Arnold was pleased his squad stayed strong under high pressure.

It was a result he would have taken before the match.

"I thought we played exceptionally well," Arnold said.

"It was a very good game between two teams that went for the win, and with my very young team I was very happy."

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