Football 1 year ago

Arnold highlights need for ACL goals

  • Arnold highlights need for ACL goals

    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 can't afford to sit back at home in a bid to protect their Asian Champions League advantage and progress to the final eight, coach Graham Arnold says.

The Sky Blues touched down in Australia on Friday morning, tired but full of confidence following a favourable 1-1 round-of-16 draw against Shandong Luneng in China.

They're ready to pull the trigger on Mano Menezes' under-pressure and travel-weary side in Wednesday's second leg at Allianz Stadium.

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However, Arnold emphasised the need to improve on the scoring front.

Though Sydney had fewer chances than Shandong in Jinan, they did make their best count, with the potential for David Carney's headed away goal to prove the difference in the knockout home-and-away clash.

But despite topping their tough group, the Sky Blues' total ACL goal tally stands at just five from seven games - the lowest of all remaining teams.

"We definitely have to score, because we're going out to win the game," Arnold told AAP at Sydney airport.

"It's always dangerous if you try and sit back and protect a result so it's going to be business as usual at Allianz."

"We want to win our home game ... and hopefully we get a lot of supporters on Wednesday night to bring this home."

Arnold is also hoping Sydney won't be the unlucky recipients of another "Tardelli Special".

Brazilian forward Diego Tardelli is the x-factor of Chinese Super League battlers Shandong, netting the equaliser and proving a perennial threat alongside Argentine international Walter Montillo.

"It was a matter of containing him," Arnold said.

"They threw everything at us because they wanted to get a lot out of the home game."

Arnold said Tardelli had played through a recent hamstring problem, and was hopeful the 31-year-old 14-cap international wouldn't be fit enough for the rematch.

"It'll depend if he plays Saturday (in the CSL against Henan Jianye)," he said.

"He missed a game before - when I went to Changchun to watch the game (last weekend) he didn't play.

"They rested him for 10 days to try and get him right for our game.

"So it depends how bad he is and how he's pulled up if he'll play Saturday, or if they'll rest him again for our game.

"Hamstrings are dangerous, especially after long flights."

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