Sydney FC conceded an 83rd minute goal from Manabu Saito concluded a disappointing night for the sky blues in Kawasaki.
FINAL RESULT: Kawasaki Frontale 1 Sydney FC 0
OTHER GROUP H RESULT: Ulsan Hyundai FC 1 Shanghai SIPG FC 0
Sydney FC are now without a win in nine attempts against Japanese opposition and in this AFC Champions League campaign only one point from a possible six.
Andrew Redmayne was the shining light, for the Sydney-based A-League team, making several great saves while his side struggled to trouble the goalkeeper at the other end.
Saito scored with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner in what was the first win for Kawasaki Frontale against Australian opposition in five years.
Fox Sport Analyst, Mark Bosnich, said: “I thought [Sydney FC] were beaten by a better side in the second half.
“If it wasn’t for Andrew Redmayne they would have been beaten by more.
“He’s in superb form and has been for quite some time.
“Everyone goalkeeping coach, John Crawley, comes in to contact with ends up being in fantastic form.
“As well as [Sydney FC] defended for a long time … it was unsustainable.
“It was like eleven men behind the ball from the 46th minute. Eventually the other team are going to score.
“I thought Kawasaki deserved their victory.”
Form Adelaide United player Bruce Djite said the difference was, “Sydney FC didn’t assert themselves in possession on the ball and Kawasaki did.
“Kawasaki were able to maintain possession high up on the pitch which meant Sydney FC had to keep dropping deeper and deeper to protect their goal and, as I said, it’s unsustainable.
“In the first half Sydney scrambled well to avoid a goal.”
Kawasaki Frontale had 56% of the possession leaving Sydney FC with only 44%.
Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O’Neill said in a post-match interview: “A sloppy goal to concede at the end there.”
“They were a very good side. It was a great learning experience for us, especially for a lot of the young lads out there.
“We nearly got there but now we regroup and look forward to our next match.
“We almost got a very valuable point away from home.”
Sydney FC now have a must-win match at home against Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday 10 April to have a chance of escaping the group.
Here is the Group H ladder as it stands.
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