The Western Sydney Wanderers will take a 1-0 aggregate lead into the second leg of their Asian Champions League quarter final after a remarkable match against ACL Champions Guangzhou Evergrande were beaten by a goal to Antony Golec, followed by finishing the match with just 9 men on the park.
Golec claimed the winner on the hour mark, cutting inside from the left flank before delivering a low cross that beat everyone including the Chinese goalkeeper, who was frozen by the run of Tomi Juric, before nestling into the bottom right hand corner.
Evergrande saw two red cards and their World Cup winning manager Marcello Lippi may face further sanctions as chaos reigned following the dismissals of Zeng Linpeng in the 88th minute and Gao Lin in the 90th.
Shannon Cole has the best chance of the first half, after Haliti stormed down the wing he put a wonderful cross that beat the leaping Evergrande defence, only to see Cole glance the header wide when he should have put his side in front. Liao Lisheng smacked a ball moments before the break that Covic turned away.
The second half was all Wanderers from the opening stages, Tomi Juric menacing the diminutive Chinese defenders and being the cause of the goal from Golec despite not getting a touch. Vitor Saba made his Parramatta Stadium debut and made an immediate impact, gliding around his opponents and drawing numerous fouls, while also showing an appetite for the hard defensive that he will require playing in the A-League for Western Sydney.
Chaos reigned in the last moments of the game, as Linpeng smashed La Rocca with an elbow and was shown a straight red, followed minutes later by compatriot Lin who kicked Vitor Saba in the face and quickly joined Linpeng for an early shower. At that point Lippi stormed onto the pitch and confronted the referee, who eventually regained control, denied Juric a penalty in the final seconds then ended the match.
The result means any draw or win for the Wanderers will see them through to the Semi-Final, while even a 2-1 loss would be enough to progress on away goals.
The Wanderers next match is Leg 2 of the Asian Champions League quarter finals against Guangzhou Evergrande, in China, played on Wednesday the 27th of August.
The Western Sydney Wanderers have signed Seyi Adeleke from Lazio of Italy.
The Nigerian 22 year old central midfielder/left fullback joins the club having spent the majority of the past three seasons on numerous loan spells away from the Italian giants, who decided to cut their losses and allow Adeleke to leave the club on a free transfer to Western Sydney.
There is no word as yet to how long the contract is for, but even a 1 year deal will put heavy pressure on the place of Iacopo La Rocca, while a 2 year deal would surely see the end of the Italian central midfielder, as the A-League, under pressure from the local players association, will cut the number of foreigner places from 5 to 4 at the conclusion of the 2014/15 season.
Adeleke is the 21st signing in a potentially 23 strong A-League squad, leaving two positions, one of which is widely tipped to be filled by Australian forward James Troisi.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Guangzhou Evergrande
Date and Local Kick-Off Time at Stadium: Wednesday 20 August 2014 - 7:30PM
Sydney Kick-Off Time: 7:30PM EST
Round: Quarter Final
Competition: Asian Champions League
Location: Parramatta, New South Wales
Stadium: Parramatta StadiumClick here to view the record
The Western Sydney Wanderers have been humbled in their inaugural FFA Cup match against Adelaide City tonight.
Adelaide City's Thomas Love scored late in the second half to secure a history 1-0 win for the hosts.
The FFA Cup, being played for the first time this season, saw the Wanderers travel to South Australia as part of the final series of matches in the Round of 32. With numerous players subject to injury clouds or a lack of match practice having recent made their way to Australia, the Wanderers lined up with Covic, Mullen, Topor-Stanley, La Rocca, Golec, Poljak, Trifiro, Perkatis, Appiah, Sotirio & All Star striker Tomi Juric.
Calm conditions greeted the two teams at Marden Sports Complex, and with no television broadcast or internet video streaming, supporters were forced to go back to the future and tune into to a local Adelaide radio station. The first shot in anger of the match came in the 10th minute from Mateo Poljak, who lined up his strike after some good lead-up play by Mullen, only for Poljak to fire high. Sotirio followed up with his own wide effort moments later. The best chance of the half came with the Wanderers having a header from La Rocca hacked off in the 20th minute.
After the RadioItalian website crashed under load, leaving supporters scrambling for alternate streams, it was Adelaide City who had the ball in the back of the net. Nicholas Bucco knocked a header home only to see the linesman hoist his offside flag high. Following shortly after Costa drew the first yellow card of the contest from Daniel Mullen on the half-hour, and Topor-Stanley picked up the second of the night shortly before half-time, which followed with no real threats coming from either side.
The Wanderers began the second half in dominating fashion, with the bulk of possession in the first 10 minutes. Despite the domination, the Wanderers couldn't open the scoring and Tony Popovic went for the bench to replace Jason Trifiro with Mark Bridge. Tomi Juric had a strike on goal with his right foot, skying the ball well over.
Costa put the ball in the back of the net for the second time, being put through one on one, only for the lineman to deny the striker for being offside. Juric, Kubi & Golec all had a try, and the Wanderers had a big handball shout denied by referee Alan Miliner. As Juric departed on 75 minutes it was Adelaide City who scored against the run of play through Thomas Love. He broke past 4 Wanderers defenders before slotting it home.
With three minutes of injury time put up by the fourth official the Wanderers pushed for an equaliser, but like the rest of the match, their technique & poised completely failed them and they made little of the additional time. The Wanderers become the first club in the FFA Cup to lose to State League opposition, and now have to recover for the Asian Champions League next week.
There was a flurry of drama after the game with Adelaide City late substitute Marco Mittiga coming on despite not having been named as one of the players in either the starting 11 or the 5 man substitutes bench on the Adelaide City team sheet. After a brief period of concern, it was revealed that he was a late change to the lineup and both the Wanderers & officials were informed.
The Wanderers next match is the 1st leg of the Asian Champions League quarter final against Guangzhou Evergrande at Parramatta Stadium on Wednesday the 20th of August.
Adelaide City vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Date and Local Kick-Off Time at Stadium: Tuesday 12 August 2014 - 7:30PM
Sydney Kick-Off Time: 8:00PM EST
Round: Round Of 32
Competition: FFA Cup
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Stadium: Marden Sports Complex
Click here to view the record