In their debut Champions League campaign, Western Sydney Wanderers need only a draw in their final group stage game to advance to the Round of 16. An impressive 2-0 defeat of Ulsan Hyundai at the Big Crown Stadium in Korea on Tuesday night secured top billing in Group H through five rounds. Mark Bridge scored on the hour and Brendon Santalab finished the job with his goal ten minutes from time.
Thanks to Kawaski Frontale's 1-0 win in China against nine-man Guizhou Renhe, the Wanderers will enter Match Day 6 level on points with their Japanese counterparts but in first place on goal difference. When Western Sydney host Renhe on Tuesday April 22 at Parramatta Stadium, the Chinese side will be without captain Sun Jihai and Zvjedan Misimovic, each of whom were sent off against Kawasaki on Tuesday.
Crucially, thanks to a second place finish in the A-League's recently completed 2013/14 season, the Wanderers do not have a finals match this weekend. Instead, Tony Popovic's men can focus fully on finding at least a draw against Renhe next week before turning their attention to the hosting of an A-League semifinal on Saturday April 26. Both Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners, the other two Australian clubs in the Asian competition, will be hosting Elimination Finals this weekend before their Match Day 6 encounters.
WSW Bridge 60'
WSW Santalab 80'
Ulsan Hyundai: Kim Seu.; Kang, Lee Y., Kim C., Kim Y.; Ko (An 57'), Kim Sung., Kim Sh., Rafael (Jeong 70'), Young (Kim Sun 27'), Sangwun
Unused substitutes: Lee H., Park, Almir, Yoo
Western Sydney Wanderers: Tyson; Cole, Topor-Stanley, Beauchamp, Mullen, Golec, Spiranovic (Mooy 86'); Trifiro; Haliti (Santalab 77'), Appiah (Hersi 62'), Bridge
Unused substitutes: Manos, Perkatis, Sotirio, Alessi