When the Sky Blues step out at Sydney Football Stadium against Urawa Red Diamonds in matchday five of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday, it’ll be a sense of deja-vu for winger David Carney.
Involved in the Sky Blues first ever AFC Champions League home match against Urawa in 2007, Carney will again line up against the Japanese club, and he reflected fondly on that 2007 match that attracted over 21,000 fans – still the highest attendance for any Champions League match held in Australia – to Moore Park.
The match finished 2-2, with Carney scoring inside the first minute, and the former Socceroo said it was a fantastic feeling to record that piece of Sky Blues’ history.
“I’ve got nothing but great memories of playing in that first Asian Champions League game [at home],” Carney said.
“I remember our fans, especially The Cove, were electric and so were the away supporters. Overall it was a great game.
“It was great to score very early in the match,” he continued.
“[To score our first home goal] was a fantastic feeling and then with us getting the penalty soon after it was a great start for us.”
With his previous AFC Champions League experience being that 2007 campaign, Carney said he’s noticed a difference from then until now as he praised the Sky Blues for the way they’ve approached the 2016 campaign that sees them currently top group H.
“The quality of players keeps getting better and better here and in Asia,” Carney said.
“It’s a different feeling to playing a league game, you have to set up tactically different but Arnie has done that which can be attributed to our success so far.
“The boys have been fantastic,” he continued.
“Since losing our first game we’ve bounced back with three wins and we’ve deserved to win all three.
“Everyone has played their part and we need to stick together again for Wednesday’s game.”
Sydney FC take on Urawa Red Diamonds in matchday five of the AFC Champions League 2016 group stage. Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4 or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
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