2019 AFC Champions League, Group Stage
  • Yasuto Wakisaka (9', 20')
  • Ao Tanaka (28')
  • Leandro Damião (59')

Youthful Sydney FC side thrashed by Kawasaki Frontale

A second-string Sydney FC side bearing no resemblance to their A-League Grand Final-winning team lost 4-0 at home to Japan's Kawasaki Frontale, in their last AFC Champions League group game.

The Sky Blues, who had no chance of making the knockout stage, didn't field any of the side that started Sunday's domestic season decider against Perth Glory at Optus Stadium.

"I asked if they wanted to be on the bench, a couple of them, the answer was no," Sydney coach Steve Corica said with a smile after Tuesday night's game at Sydney's Jubilee Oval.

"It's been a crazy couple of days, its been a great couple of days as well, with winning the grand final and trying to back up for this game.

"We expected it to be difficult tonight. We had limited preparation for this game, we only got back (from Perth) last night. 'It was a good experience for the younger boys. I'm sure they'll take something out of the game and they played against a very good team."

Sydney's run-on team for Tuesday's final round group game included Iranian international Reza Ghoochannejhad, who scored the clinching penalty on Sunday and Anthony Caceres, who also came off the bench in Perth. A youthful side, that included two debutants, was overwhelmed by a team including Brazilian international Leandro Damiao.

Before the game, the starting members of Sunday's team took turns to hold aloft the trophy before a crowd of 3,813, Sydney's lowest-ever Champions League home attendance. Adding to the bizarre atmosphere, the sponsor's name on the trophy, Hyundai, needed to have some tape stuck over it, as it was a rival of one of the competition's backers, Toyota.

Sydney finished bottom of their group with three points, all from draws and it was their heaviest-ever Champions League defeat.

A youthful side, that included two debutants, was overwhelmed by a team featuring Brazil international Leandro Damiao.

Kawasaki scored three times in the first half hour and had 23 attempts to Sydney's five in front of the small but loud crowd, with both sets of supporters in good voice.

The visitors had numerous other chances either saved by former Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Thomas Heward-Belle, or were off target.

Ghoochannejhad came closest to scoring for Sydney with a 52nd minute chip which hit the bar, with Luke Ivanovic blazing a follow-up shot over.

Two quality finishes from Yasuto Wakizaka in the ninth and 20th minutes put the visitors in control and they added a third through Ao Tanaka, whose shot deflected off Sydney debutant Patrick Scibilio.

Damiao got the fourth just before the hour, dispossessing Cam Devlin and charging forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.

It took Sydney 39 minutes to fashion a good scoring opportunity. Devlin had a close range backheel blocked by goalkeeper Jung Sunryong, who saved a Jacob Tratt header from the following corner.

Sydney have never beaten a Japanese team in 10 games in the competition.

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