Wanderers breathe new life into season with ACL win
MAYBE there's life in the Wanderers yet.
Western Sydney's grim season took an unexpected turn with a 3-2 win away to FC Seoul that keeps alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League.
Goals from Lachlan Scott, Terry Antonis and Jaushua Sotirio established a commanding lead in Seoul, and Western Sydney were able to hold on despite conceding two in response.
Until the late goals for Seoul sparked obvious nerves, it had been almost the perfect away performance from Western Sydney, redolent of the way they played on their way to winning the ACL in 2014.
Building on a lucky escape in the 13th minute, when Dejan Damjanovic's header from Go Yo-han's cross thundered off the Wanderers bar, the Australian side had picked their hosts off on the break.
The first goal was expertly crafted, Terry Antonis seizing on a loose ball on the wing and driving into the heart of the Seoul defence. With a deft touch Antonis sent Scott into the box, and the 19-year-old finished the chance in style.
On 40 minutes the lead was doubled, when Jack Clisby met the ball on the overlap and drove a cross into the arm of the sliding Shin Kwang-Hoon's arm. If a penalty award was harsh, Antonis didn't care, stroking home the spotkick.
Seoul were nonplussed and it got worse for them in the 63rd minute. Western Sydney broke with style, the ball worked to Mitch Nichols who pierced the Seoul defence with a visionary pass. As it dropped for Sotirio the winger lobbed goalkeeper Yoo Hyun with perfect control.
Seoul were wounded, and showed it. The ball came across the box to Yun Il-Lok, who took a touch and drilled a shot past Vedran Janjetovic at the goalkeeper's too-exposed near post.
The home side had a lifeline and on 72 minutes found another - Il-Lok was the scorer again, taking a pass, dummying Brendon Hamill and shooting low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
There were more alarms but in the end the Wanderers held on.