The Sydney FC play the Pohang Steelers in the group stage of the Asian Champions League at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Tuesday, April 4, starting 8 pm local time. But pitch issues have raised speculations over the advancement of the match.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the pitch was so poor that the Sydney FC and Steeler’s players had to train outside the venue. The article quoted, “Heavy rain in Sydney on Monday following a rugby union match on Sunday has left the playing surface in such a fragile state that it could adversely affect the quality of football in the Sky Blues’ crucial Asian Champions League match.”
According to the official ACL sources, the Steelers were “forced to train at Leichhardt Oval” on Monday, while Sydney FC trained at the Macquarie University turf.
Pohang Steelers coach Choi Jin-cheul was clearly unhappy for not letting his players train at the Allianz Stadium. “It would be a disadvantage for us … but our players are [good] enough to play very, very well and its’ a decision by AFC so we have to understand,” he said.
‘We would like to manage our game really safely,” Choi said. “We will do our best to manage a safe match, not so much offensive [play]. Just safe.”
Players seemed quite frustrated with the state of the pitch but there was no official word on the cancellation of the match. The match would go on as scheduled, according to the latest reports.
Arnold believed that the pitch might suite the Sydney FC after having lost to Adelaide last weekend.
“I don’t watch rugby but I watched it yesterday. I was cringing watching those rucks and mauls and seeing the damage was getting done to that field knowing that we’ve got a game there tomorrow night, but that’s the way it is. At the end of the day hopefully it will be an advantage to us. It’s a heavy field it will take a lot out of the players legs,” Arnold said.
Check out the match details below.
Sydney FC vs Steelers, AFC Champions League Group stage
Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2016
Time: 8pm local time
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Live Stream: Asian Champions League live