The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Sydney Wanderers beat Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 to reach quarterfinals of Asian Champions League
SYDNEY - Brendon Santalab scored late as Western Sydney Wanderers beat J-League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals in their Asian Champions League debut season.
Shannon Cole scored in the 55th minute and Santalab doubled the lead in the 85th to level the series aggregate 3-3, helping the Australian club advance on away goals after a 3-1 defeat last week in Japan.
Western Sydney, formed two seasons ago, is only the second A-League club to reach the quarterfinals in the continental club championship.
Also advancing Wednesday were FC Seoul and Qatar club Al Sadd, each also on the away goals rule, and Saudi club Al Hilal, which beat Bunyodkor 3-0 at home to follow up a 1-0 win in Uzbekistan last week.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said the result took some of the sting out of losing to Brisbane 2-1 in the A-League grand final on May 4.
"After a week of adversity we had with the grand final and losing away from home, it was just a fantastic performance and a well-deserved result," Popovic said.
Hiroki Mizumoto missed a chance to restore Sanfrecce's two-goal overall lead when he headed over the crossbar with 15 minutes left. Former Japan midfielder Shinji Ono, playing his last game for the Wanderers, crossed into the area and Santalab fired home to seal the away-goal win.
"It was a tough game," Ono said. "We were two goals behind, but I believed in the team and everyone believed in each other and that's why we got a good result."
FC Seoul advanced despite a 2-1 loss to Kawasaki Frontale at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Seoul, 3-2 winners in the first leg, took the lead through former Urawa Reds striker Sergio Escudero in the eighth minute. Yu Kobayashi levelled for Frontale in the 29th and substitute Yoshihito Morishima made it 2-1 in the second minute of stoppage time.
Two first-half goals were enough for Qatar's Al Sadd to qualify for the quarterfinals on the away goals rule with a 2-2 draw against Foolad Khouzestan at Ahwaz in Iran.
After a 0-0 draw last week in Qatar, Al Sadd's Nadir Belhadj opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Khalfan Ibrahim added a second in the 29th minute.
Luciano Pereira's brace in the second half brought the home team on level terms but it wasn't enough to qualify.
Al Hilal booked its place in the ACL quarterfinals for the third time in five seasons, with captain Yasser Al Qahtani opening the scoring in the 20th minute before second-half goals by Nassri Al Shamrani and Salem Al Dawsari sealed the lopsided win.
Defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande and three-time Asian champion Pohang Steelers were among the teams which secured quarterfinal spots on Tuesday night.
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 7 articles for today)7:06 AM 0
TOKYO - Japan has appointed Mexican Javier Aguirre as the new head coach of the national team.
The Japan Football Association ...