ACL Semis In Sight For Wanderers

Mark Bridge - Western Sydney Wanderers
Striker Mark Bridge is a key for the Wanderers. Source Getty Images/news.com.au

Western Sydney are in China for the second leg of their quarter final tie, with a slight advantage over last year’s ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande .

Last Tuesday’s fiery match at Pirtek Stadium produced everything; red cards, a World Cup winning manager running onto the pitch, but most significantly - a Wanderers goal. Tony Popovic’s men travel to China with the slight advantage courtesy of Antony Golec’s second-half strike. The Wanderers were solid defensively in the first leg and did well to keep their heads in a contest of high drama. A host of players are expected to shake off injuries sustained in last week’s clash, including star striker Mark Bridge.

Guangzhou felt like they were on the wrong end of a number of controversial refereeing decisions in the first half, and that was shown when former Italy coach, Marcello Lippi, ran onto the field to vent his frustration at the referees. A pair of red cards to Evergrande’s Lin and Zhang crippled the Chinese juggernaut’s defence, and they’ll have to remain disciplined throughout the second tie, if they’re to advance to the semi-finals.

The Wanderers did well to contain Italian duo Alessandro Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino at Parramatta last week, but whether they can repeat the dose in front of 58,000 passionate Guangzhou fans is a completely different scenario. The champions of Asia are expected to breeze past the Wanderers; however as the boys from Sydney's west proved last week, anything is possible. 

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