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Live from Sydney: Ten-men Jeonbuk Motors break Sydney FC hearts with late equaliser

A late equaliser has denied Sydney FC a valuable AFC Champions League win over Jeonbuk Motors in Kogarah on Wednesday.

Han Kyo-won's instinctive reaction ensured the K-League giants took a share of the spoils with a 2-2 draw in front of 3,255 at Jubilee Stadium.

The first-half played out like a chess match, with both sides manufacturing a number of half-chances, but perhaps holding themselves back in a contest neither could afford to lose.

It was the Koreans who looked the classier side however, and one wouldn't have picked that the Hyundai-owned club hadn't played a competitive fixture since December.

And it was in fact Jose Morais' side who broke the deadlock thanks to an own goal from Luke Brattan.

The former Melbourne City midfielder was unfortunate to catch Hong Jeongho's corner with an outstretched boot, leaving goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne powerless to stop the ball reaching the back of the net.

Fortunately for Sydney the response was swift, with Trent Buhagier scoring five minutes later.

The 22-year-old had been a peripheral figure until he floored Choi Bo-kyung with some nifty footwork inside the box before finishing calmly past the inside post of Song Bum-keun.

The second-half continued to be an expansive spectacle, but it was Jeonbuk who found themselves unlucky not to be ahead after missing two easy chances.

Cho Kyu-seong should have made it 2-1 on the 64th minute mark but somehow managed to sky his effort over the bar from four-yards out.

Next it was Han Kyo-won who couldn't steer home a low cross from the same distance.

Jeonbuk would come to rue those mistakes with 16 minutes remaining when Sydney went ahead.

Paulo Retre hit Buhagier with a lovely cross field pass to expose the backtracking Jeonbuk defence.

Buhagier squared the ball to former Cardiff City man Adam Le Fondre, who in turn set-up Rhian Grant, but the right-back had his shot blocked by Choi Bo-kyung.

The Sydney players protested passionately for a handball after the ball was cleared, and after consulting with his linesman, the referee pointed to spot and sent Bo-kyung off in the process.

The reliable Le Fondre stayed calm and hammered the spot-kick past Bum-keun into the top right-hand corner.

But Jeonbuk weren't going to lie down despite their numerical disadvantage, and their effort was rewarded with a goal with one minute left in the match.

A long-range strike from Brazilian import Murilo beat Redmayne and cannoned off the post fortuitously into the path of Kyo-won, who finished into an open net.

The result means the Sky Blues have drawn 10 out of their last 17 AFC Champions League matches.

And Steve Corica's side will have to bounce back quickly as they face a quick turnaround for Saturday's Big Blue against Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium.

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Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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