Sydney (AFP) – Goals from Shoma Doi and Naomichi Ueda doomed Sydney FC to their second defeat in the AFC Champions League as the hosts crashed 2-0 to Japan’s Kashima Antlers on Wednesday.
Doi and Ueda, who are both targeting places with Japan at this year’s World Cup, struck shortly before half- and full-time respectively to settle a testy encounter.
Australian media said tempers boiled over in the tunnel at half-time as Graham Arnold’s A-League leaders were left winless after three games and stuck at bottom of Group H.
Kashima were already in the ascendancy when Yuma Suzuki fed Doi, 25, who fired into the bottom right-hand corner on 40 minutes for his first goal of the tournament.
Sydney were revived after the break but Ueda guaranteed all three points for the visitors when the 23-year-old headed in a flick-on from a corner three minutes before full time.
Table-topping Kashima move on to seven points from their opening three games, while Sydney, on one point, have now gone seven matches without a win in Asia’s premier club competition.
In Group F, Leroy George’s injury-time penalty secured a 2-2 draw for Melbourne Victory against Kawasaki Frontale, while Shanghai Shenhua had Giovanni Moreno’s 71st-minute spot-kick to thank as they held Suwon Samsung Bluewings 1-1.