• A lightning quick start for both sides turned this dead rubber contest into a spectacle early on, the game ending with late drama to see the Wanderers win 3-2 over Shanghai SIPG.

    The Wanderers kicked off, and were pretty much immediately behind on the scoreboard. After losing the ball in midfield, Shanghai went straight onto the attack, and Wu Lei punished some terrible defending by Cornthwaite with a blast across Janjetovic that the keeper got a finger to but wasn't able to stop it from going in. Just 21 seconds on the clock, with the fastest Champions League goal this season, and the 3rd fastest of all time.

    Western Sydney were stunned, but fought back immediately. Terry Antonis strode through a vacant Shanghai midfield, he threaded the needle to put Jumepi in on goal, and the Japanese winger tapped the ball past the onrushing keeper into the bottom corner.

    In just the 6th minute, the Wanderers had scored their 2nd, and the game's third, to take the lead. Jumpei ran onto a ball lofted over the top, he cut back inside his marker, tapped the ball into the path of Steven Lustica, and he took one touch and blasted a hard shot into the roof of the near post.

    21 minutes in Artiz Borda, who was only starting due to an injury to Scott Neville, produced yet another dreadful defensive display to help Shanghai draw level. One of the worst foreign defensive players to ever show up in Australia, Borda stuck out a leg and brought down the attacking Elkeson. Having won the penalty, Elkeson stepped up and placed the penalty straight down the middle as Janjetovic dived hopelessly to his right.

    Just minutes before full time, Jumpei combined with Sotirio to take a late late lead. Nico Martinez scooped a delightful ball over the top, Jumpei ran onto it, chipping Shanghai keeper Sun Le, Sotirio running onto the chip to slam it home to give the Wanderers a 3-1 lead. Deep into stoppage time Shannon Cole was giving a standing ovation as he left the field for the last time as a Wanderer, although the referee wasn't too impressed with his team-mates coming to congratulate him.

    The Wanderers long mediocre season has come to an end, with failure in the A-League Premiership, failure in the FFA Cup, failure in the Final Series and failure in the Asian Champions League. Tony Popovic will once again be gutting his squad, with potentially a dozen players leaving and needing to be replaced. The Wanderers ownership need to open their hefty chequebooks, and step up to ensure the Wanderers have two world class marquees for next season, with Popovic needing to look at his tactics & scouting to produce quality in defence, midfield and in attack.

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    • I doubt it.  Over 75k tickets have been sold, with all the WSW active end tickets were snapped up by members.  
    • Reports: Chinese U20 team set to play in Germany's fourth tier According to media reports, a Chinese U20 could play in one of Germany's regional fourth-tier leagues next season. The plans follow a deal aimed at enhancing cooperation between Germany and China in football.   China's under-20 national team could play in Germany's fourth tier next season, according to plans set to be announced by the German football association (DFB). The fourth tier of the German football pyramid is split into five regional divisions and, with the south-western division, the Regionalliga Südwest, having only 19 teams, there a proposal has emerged to round the league off with an extra side - from China. "[The clubs] have reacted very positively to the idea," Ronny Zimmermann, vice-president of the DFB and chairman of the Regionalliga Südwest board of partners, told German football magazine "Kicker." The plan follows an agreement signed in 2016 between the German FA and the Chinese government to help boost the sport in the Asian country, where the Bundesliga enjoys growing popularity. Chinese football expects to benefit from German expertise in coaching and development in return for Chinese investment in German football. A Chinese fan shows her colors during Bayern Munich's 2015 tour - Bundesliga sides are popular in China "An outstanding idea" "The planned cooperation with China is well known but that needs to be translated into actions as well," continued Zimmermann. "We'll have to see if anything comes of the idea. A decision will have to have been made by the time the league managers meet, since that's when the fixture list will be confirmed." As with every regular opponent, each German club in the south-western division would face the Chinese selection twice during the season, although the results of these games would not count in the league standings. Since the Chinese team would have no "home" ground, the German clubs would host them twice and receive a total fee of around 15,000 euros ($16,700) from the Chinese FA. For the young Chinese team, the matches would serve as preparation for the 2020 Olympics which are due to be held in Tokyo. "It's an outstanding idea. We look forward to the two home games and we'll be sure to roll out the carpet for China's Olympic XI," Stuttgarter Kickers commercial director Marc-Nicolai Pfeifer told the mass-circulation daily "Bild."  Kickers Offenbach CEO Christopher Fiori said he envisaged "great marketing opportunities from a match against a Chinese team." Consistent with Chinese policy While the news may appear unusual, the plans are consistent with China's more general approach. "Ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, the British handball team played in the Danish sixth tier to gain experience," Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise the University of Salford, explained to DW. "Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics (in Beijing), the Chinese women's ice hockey team is playing in Canada. So am I surprised at this announcement? No, I'm not. This sort of move is not unprecedented. In fact it's entirely in keeping with the way the Chinese plan their sporting development." According to Professor Chadwick, China considers Germany a particularly attractive partner.  "The German way of doing business is much more conducive to development of Chinese football," he told DW. "The Germans take a much more bilateral view. They believe that if you're going to work successfully, you need to contribute something tangible, which is very similar to the way the Chinese operate. Now, when it comes to securing other commercial or industrial deals with China even outside football, Germany is well-placed. "With this agreement, the Germans are seen as showing regard for Chinese national development, and this ties in with the more general pro-German sentiment in China." Criticism from fans While the plans have been welcomed by commercial directors, fans of German football are less enthused, taking to social media to express their displeasure at what they consider yet another step in the perceived over-commercialization of the sport.   Twitter Ads info and privacy       Twitter Ads info and privacy     But this sort of development may be something fans will have to get used to.  "I think this could be a longer-term proposition," says Professor Chadwick. "China's football development plan states that it wants to be a leading football nation by 2050. When you compare that aim to the current state of Chinese football, it has a long way to go. It still needs assistance, so I can certainly see this developing." Allegations of corruption Links between China and German football are already on the rise. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund already organize off-season tours of the Far East to capitalize on the booming football market, while, according to media reports, Cologne striker scorer Anthony Modeste is set to follow in the footsteps of a number of big European names by completing an estimated 35-million-euro transfer to Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian. Earlier this month, former Bayern Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt took over at Beijing Guoan. Cologne's Anthony Modeste: China bound? But a recent investigation by German magazine "Spiegel" uncovered evidence suggesting Chinese betting circles could be involved in match-fixing in European football, and Professor Chadwick confirms this is an issue which the Chinese government is keen to clamp down on.  "The Chinese government is investigating allegations of betting irregularities and is concerned that some investors are using football investments as a front for corrupt activity. If assets are held offshore, it's difficult for the Chinese government to do anything about it. President Xi Jinping has made combatting corruption a key pillar of his leadership. According to "Bild," the involvement of the Chinese XI in the south-western regional league could be officially announced during President Xi's visit to Berlin on July 5.  
    • It's a meaningless pre-pre-season friendly which only exists to make the promoters & Arsenal money (and the FFA). Our club will generate little revenue or interest from the wider public, we might as well be wearing Washington Generals shirts. You could swap SFC players with our players and no-one would notice. The atmosphere will be dire, it will be like the RBB Silent Protest or the Mariners away walkout but for 90 minutes. The WSW/RBB end will be filled with eurosnob theatre goers who will complain about people standing and chanting, and it will be worse than an Australian national team game. The game will be a training run. Arsenal players will be trying to avoid injury with about a month and a bit to their season starting. Our players will be three months away from the opening game of the season. For many people you see one of these games and you've seen them all and have no desire to be involved again.
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