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2018 AFC Champions League, Group Stage

Sydney FC held by Shanghai Shenhua as Champions League exit confirmed

David Carney bemoans a missed opportunity. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

A wasteful Sydney FC are out of the AFC Champions League after a fiery 0-0 stalemate with a second-string Shanghai Shenhua.

Sitting third in Group H, the Sky Blues needed to beat last-placed Shanghai on Tuesday night and hope second-placed Suwon Bluewings failed to beat leaders Kashima Antlers at the same time to make the round of 16.

But the concurrent match in Japan didn't run to script as Suwon won 1-0 on matchday six.

In truth, neither did Sydney's final group match at Allianz Stadium, where the A-League premiers dominated all the statistics except the one that mattered most.

The sheet read a total 22 shots to none and Bobo spurned a handful of those opportunities. The best chance was eight minutes in when Adrian Mierzejewski's through ball found the Brazilian in space.

Despite having ample time to skirt around a stranded Qiu Shengjion, the A-League's record goal scorer somehow managed to fire wide.

Sydney's chances mounted as the hosts time and again sliced through their deep-lying visitors with ease only to lack the final product.

The epitome was Luke Wilkshire's near miss when, set up through some clever one-touch play between Bobo and Mierzejewski, the right-back's angled shot shaved the outside of the far post.

Milos Ninkovic had cause to appeal for a penalty when he was fouled attempting to take a shot inside the box.

And Colombian playmaker and captain Giovanni Moreno was booked for complaining to the referee just before half-time and was promptly replaced by coach Wu Jingui.

The momentum continued into the second half and Mierzejewski escaped the clutches of a Shanghai defender to spiral a shot marginally wide.

The Pole's powerful 80th-minute volley, though, was a sure thing had Qiu not put his body in the way.

There was late drama as David Carney and Qiu scrambled for control of the ball in added time. Ben Warland appeared to dig his boot into the goalkeeper's back to spark an all-in melee.

AFC Champions League News