Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has praised the character of his squad following their valuable AFC Champions League win against Pohang Steelers at Steelyard Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Sky Blues defeated the most successful team in the competition courtesy of Christopher Naumoff’s first half strike, and the former Socceroos boss praised the performance of his team for overcoming the adversity of travel.
“We showed great character,” Arnold said.
“I thought it was a fantastic away performance from us. We had a lot of young players on the field tonight but they did extremely well and our senior players were excellent in leading them.
“I was confident we could win it but after having to travel 36 hours to get here, and it was very difficult to get here, it’s very hard and taxing on the body, it’s very hard for players to travel that far and perform well.”
Arnold said the Korean side were fearful of the Sky Blues physical stature as goal scorer Christopher Naumoff labelled the victory as a “perfect night” for Sydney FC.
“We could see in the faces of the Pohang players that they were quite intimidated by the size of our team,” Arnold said.
“We had a very big team out in size and we wanted to play a physical game against them because we know they’re only two or three games into their season and not 100% fit.
“It was our opportunity to try and physically put them on the back foot.”
“We came here to get the three points and it’s good that we could achieve that,” continued Naumoff.
“I thought for the whole 90 minutes every player did their job and we worked for each other.
“It’s a perfect night to come and get the three points after a long time travelling and the boys are very happy with that.”
Sydney FC return to Australia on Friday, before travelling north to face the Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday (kick off 5:15pm) in the Hyundai A-League. Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4, listen live on ABC Grandstand or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
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