Sydney FC on a mission of atonement
Sydney FC can continue its salvage mission after a disappointing A-League season, by drawing against Urawa in the Asian Champions League at Allianz Stadium tonight.
The Sky Blues spectacularly bombed out of the domestic competition, finishing seven points behind the Victory in seventh place, after a horror 11-game winless streak in their last 12 games.
But they sit on top of Group H in the ACL on nine competition points, with Urawa second on seven.
Sydney will book a spot in the last 16 with a point, while the Red Diamonds should advance with a win.
Even a draw won't be easy for the Sky Blues.
The visitors recorded an impressive 3-1 win at home to Vegalta Sendai on the weekend, putting them third on the J-League ladder with five victories from seven games.
Urawa's trio of Shinzo Koroki, Tadanari Lee and Yuki Moto all got on the scoresheet, and they are making plenty of headlines in Japan.
"Barcelona may have MSN (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) but Urawa Reds have KLM (the stars mentioned above)," said Sports Hochi.
The Sky Blues finished their sub-standard A-League season with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Perth on April 10.
Meanwhile the club has parted ways with midfielder Mickael Tavares.
The 33-year-old Senegalese international signed a new two-year deal at the start of this season, but things did not go to plan in 2015/16.
"Mickael had a great start to his career at Sydney FC and helped us reach the heights last year in our record-breaking (50 competition-point) season," Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold said.
"This season things haven't gone as well and we have agreed to part company, but I wish him very well for the future."