The debut of the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Club World Cup ended on a losing note after Es Setif emerged victorious after a see-sawing 90 minutes that finished 2-2 and was immediately followed by a penalty shootout that ES Setif won 5-4.
Admin: I've promoted this to an article as there are already comments in the thread and I would like to keep them. Also moved to the Western Sydney Wanderers sub-forum as that is viewable by the public.
As I'm sure a few of you have already seen on the various forms of social media, one of our own, Nato, has been diagnosed with cancer.
He's a great bloke, spending heaps of his own time making flags for the RBB - you'll often see him in the front of Bay 55, proudly waving the giant 55 flag.
A fundraiser has been organised for this SUNDAY 21st DECEMBER, at CENTRAL GARDENS, MERRYLANDS, to help raise some money for him & his family through these tough times.
If you're free on Sunday, be sure to come along!! And be sure to spread the word.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs ES Setif
Date and Local Kick-Off Time at Stadium: Wednesday 17 December 2014 - 4:30PM
Sydney Kick-Off Time: 3:30AM Thursday December 18th AEDT
Round: Fifth Place Play-off
Competition: Club World Club
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Stadium: Stade De MarrakechClick here to view the record
The Western Sydney Wanderers were two minutes away from facing Real Madrid but two red cards, two penalties and three goals from Cruz Azul saw the hopes of the dream fixture dashed.
On four occasions clubs from Australia have entered the Club World Cup hoping to face the giants of world football. South Melbourne did so against Vasco da Gama, Necaxa & Manchester United as a result of the format of the competition in the year 2000 involving a group stage, while Sydney FC & Adelaide United crashed out with losses in the quarter finals with Liverpool & Manchester United of England respectively beckoning in the semi-finals.
The Western Sydney Wanderers were hoping to become the first Australian side to advance to the semi-final but were undone by Cruz Azul of Mexico in a frantic and farcical encounter. Conditions in Rabat were non-stop lashing rain, with the pitch pooled into oceans of water that looked more suitable for Vasco da Gama the Portugese explorer rather than his namesake club from Brazil.
Labinot Haliti should have been awarded the opening goal of the game, having bundled the ball over the line only to see it disallowed. Replays showed on clear reason for the decision and it was the start of several baffling decisions from the officials on the night.
The soggy deadlock was broken in the 65th minute. Seyi Adeleke lobbed a cross into the box that was half-cleared by the Mexicans, only as far as Iacopo La Rocca who blasted a shot that skidded off the wet surfaced and nestled into the bottom corner. Holding on in the tough conditions was made even harder by the sending off of Matthew Spiranovic for a second yellow after a handball. The resulting free kick was smashed in but a finger tip save from Ante Covic kept the Wanderers in front.
The 88th minute saw the game swing the way of the Mexicans. A hopeful ball up front was deflected by a Wanderer into the path of Marco Fabian. Shannon Cole came in to defend and his attempt at a clearance was foiled by the waterloged pitch and he was adjuged to have fouled Fabian. Gerardo Torrado stepped up from the spot and sent Covic the wrong way, sending the match into extra time.
The clock ticked over to 101 minutes as the Wanderers lost the second of their starting central defensive pairing. In this instance Nikolai Topor-Stanley had been booked earlier in the match for a foul made by Adeleke in a case of mistaken identity, and was given a second yellow for preventing one of the Cruz Azul attackers from getting in behind the defence.
Azul took the lead for the first time as Pavone tapped home from a wonderful first up save by Covic, the second shot from Pavone at point blank was one no keeper in the world could have kept out.
The dreams of playing Madrid were gone in the 119th minute as the referee gave another penalty, Polajk sliding in to prevent a cross had the ball hit his hand and it was declared deliberate. Torrado finished low and centrally and shortly after the referee managed to do something right and blew his whistle to end what was an agonising match to watch for everyone associated with the Wanderers.
Cruz Azul now go onto the Semi-Finals against Real Madrid, while the other semi-final sees Auckland City take on San Lorenzo.
The Wanderers will take on ES Setif of Algeria in the 5th place playoff at 3:30am on Thursday the 18th of December.
The Western Sydney Wanderers face a potential Group of Death in Group H of the 2015 Asian Champions League, having been drawn alongside Guangzhou Evergrande of China, and potentially with Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan & FC Seoul of Korea.
The draw took place this evening, with the big talking point for Australian followers being the draw of defending ACL Champions the Western Sydney Wanderers against Guangzhou Evergrande, the team the Wanderers defeated in a spiteful home & away tie on their fairytale run to the final. Evergrande qualified as the 2014 Chinese Super League champions and will be keen to avenge their defeat from last season.
The teams who will contest the play-off for Group H will be FC Seoul who are seeded to the East 1 play-off game, with Ha Noi T&T of Vietnam facing up to Persib Bandung of Indonesia for the right to play the K-League 3rd placed side. The Koreans are no strangers to the Wanderers, having been defeated 2-0 on aggregate last year in the Semi-Final of the competition.
The Japanese team in the group is yet to be confirmed. The Emperor's Cup of 2014 will be contested in a few days time, with J-League winners Gamba Osaka taking on 2nd Division Montedio Yamagata. Should an boilover occur the Wanderers will be joined by Urawa Red Diamonds, the club where Shinji Ono began his professional career. If the expected result comes to fruition then 3rd placed J-League side Kashima Antlers will take the spot, a team
managed by legendard Brazilian defensive midfielder Toninho Cerezo.
Brisbane Roar are in Group G, with only Suwom Bluewings of Korea confirmed in their group, their Japanese opponents will be either Montedio Yamagata or Urawa. The final spot will be contested via the Qualifier play-offs, between Beijing Guoan, Guangzhou R & F (both of China), Johor Darul Ta'zim of Malaysia and Bengaluru of India.
The Central Coast Mariners are the final Australian team involved. They will play a do or die qualifying play-off on the 17th of February against either Bankgok Glass of Thailand, Yadanarbon of Burma or the Warriors of Singapore. If victorious the will enter Group F along with Gamba Osaka, Seongnam & Buriram United.
The final group comprises of Jeonbuk Hyundai, Shandong Luneng, Binh Duong & the winner of qualifying play-off #2.