Asian Champions League:opening at Western Sydney

Dominic Bossi

Horror opening as Wanderers given a thumping

Steve Lustica of the Wanderers contests the ball at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Tuesday.
Just three days after stunning Sydney FC in the derby, Western Sydney Wanderers were sent crashing down to earth after being thumped by Urawa Red Diamonds in their first Asian Champions League match.

A second-half capitulation provided an early blow to the Wanderers hopes of progressing past the group stage as Urawa Red Diamonds scored four goals after the break to cruise to a 4-0 win at Campbelltown Stadium.

It was a match that started with some promise for Western Sydney but finished with the club coming under significant pressure once more after a lacklustre performance was all that followed their impressive derby win.

They were nearly gifted an early lead from a clumsy error from Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa who spilled the ball amid a challenge from Wanderers’ debutant Abaham Majok, only to regain possession to narrowly spare his blushes. It proved the Wanderers’ best chance of the match as they were forced to hold back waves of Urawa attacks led by a forward line often numbering as many as five.

The Reds’ halftime team talk wasn’t one that featured their coach, who spent the break smoking behind the grand stand with one of his assistants. As events transpired, they didn’t need too much inspiration and the Japanese giants took the lead 10 minutes after the restart. An incisive ball through the middle from Tadanari Lee split the Wanderers defence and the fleet-footed Koroki made up for his earlier error beating his marker to slot the ball past the oncoming Janjetovic.

Before the hosts had a chance to regather themselves, they copped a second. Koroki returned the favour for Veteran Japanese international, by providing a classy cross into the box which Lee finished emphatically with a volley into the corner of the net.

The Wanderers were sent crashing down to earth and found themselves trailing by three in the 68th minute. Slack marking off a corner allowed Tomoaki Makino to side-foot the ball into the net, unmarked.

Rafael Da Silva beat Janjetovic at his near post to make it 4-0 at the death.

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