Kevin Muscat has again got the better of coaching rival Steve Corica in Group H of the AFC Champions League.
Sydney FC’s AFC Champions League campaign is all but over after a second successive loss to the Kevin Muscat-coached Yokohama F. Marinos.
Having been beaten 1-0 by Marinos last week, Sydney lost 3-0 to the Japanese club in the teams’ return clash in Group H’s centralised Vietnam hub.
The Sky Blues’ latest defeat leaves them with just two points from four matches.
Now seven points adrift of Muscat’s first-placed team, Sydney can no longer finish top of its group, a position that earns round-of-16 qualification.
And to have any chance of being among the competition’s six-best second-placed group teams that will also advance to the knockout stages, the Sydneysiders must win their remaining two Group H games – against South Korean club Jeonbuk and Vietnamese team Hoang Anh Gia Lai – and hope that Marinos do them a favour by beating Jeonbuk on Monday morning.
The Sky Blues paid the price for a slow start in the latest loss to Marinos, who led 2-0 after just 11 minutes through goals from Yuki Saneto and Takuma Nishimura.
Not even the 63rd-minute dismissal of defender Ryotaro Tsunoda for a last-man foul on Sydney attacker Patrick Wood could derail Marinos, who extended their lead in the dying stages via a goal from Brazilian marksman Anderson Lopes.
“We lost the game after 10 minutes,” Sydney coach Steve Corica said.
“We had a slow start and going 2-0 down, it was always going to be hard to come back into it.
“It was a poor first-half performance but a lot better in the second half, and we again created two or three very good chances which we didn’t take.
“At least we had a good crack in the second half and it was much better. We conceded late as everyone pushed forward.”