Football 3 months ago

Wanderers exit ACL in style

  • Wanderers exit ACL in style

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 10: Jumpei Kusukami of the Wanderers celebrates with team mates after scoring the final goal during the AFC Asian Champions League Group Stage match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Shanghai SIPG FC at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on May 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

  • Wanderers exit ACL in style

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 10: Li Shenglong of Shanghai is challenged by Shannon Cole of the Wanderers during the AFC Asian Champions League Group Stage match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Shanghai SIPG FC at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on May 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Western Sydney Wanderers ended their dismal ACL campaign on a positive note with a 3-2 victory over Chinese outfit, Shanghai SIPG at Campbelltown Stadium.

Three goals were scored in the first six minutes of the match as both teams played with plenty of attacking intent. 

Shannon Cole, playing at left-back wore the captain's armband in his last appearance for the Red and Black, after spending the past five-seasons at the club since becoming a foundation member.

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Shanghai, fielding a weaker outfit without Brazilian duo Hulk and Oscar still had immense talent to offer on the pitch in the form of Chinese star Wu Lei and Brazilian striker Elkeson. 

Wanderers rushed onto the attacking front right from the onset however a couple of poor touches let them down. This allowed Shanghai to hurt Wanderers on the counter where winger Wu Lei broke away from the defence and produced a brilliant finish to score the third fastest goal in Asian Champions League history (20 seconds). 

The home side quickly responded when Terry Antonis split the defence with a pinpoint pass for Jumpei Kusukami to slide past the keeper. Jumpei made another vital contribution just three minutes later, passing inside for Steven Lustica to drive into the near top corner from close range. 

Fans were finally able to take a breath for the next 15 minutes before Spanish defender Aritz Borda committed a clumsy foul in the box, enabling Elkeson to level the scores from the penalty spot. 

Western Sydney appeared to be the more dominant side in the second half and substitutes Jaushua Sotirio and Brendon Santalab added extra energy in the final third. Tony Popovic's substitutions paid off when a little dink from Nico Martinez set Jumpei free who tapped the ball past the keeper into the path of Sotirio to finish for an 89th minute winner. 

It was Western Sydney's second win of the group stage after they defeated FC Seoul 3-2 in South Korea. The victory ends their Champions League campaign of 2017 on a respectable note after they leaked 22 goals across the six games. 

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