ACL | Wanderers crash back to earth in opener

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Riding high after their Sydney Derby win, Western Sydney Wanderers were brought down hard by Urawa Reds on Tuesday night.

A second half capitulation from the Wanderers handed the Japanese club a 4-0 win at Campbelltown Stadium in their first group game of the Asian Champions League.

With all the goals coming in the final 35 minutes, Urawa seemingly took advantage of Western Sydney having to play two games in four days.

Though making a number of changes that saw Abraham Majok and Ryan Griffiths both given their first minutes in the team, the red and black couldn’t stop Urawa from claiming a convincing win.

Lacking a cutting edge up front, neither Majok or Griffiths registered a shot, though Majok did have a goal disallowed for offside, the Wanderers were eventually made to pay at the back.

The untested pairing of Brendan Hamill and Aritz Borda at the back a gamble from Tony Popovic that ended particularly poorly.

A lack of pace, strength and simple awareness costing Western Sydney badly as Urawa made their goals look far too easy.

The fourth and final goal saw Rafael Silva brush far too easily past Hamill allowing him to rifle home while the goal before saw Tomoaki Makino unmarked in the box following a set piece with the defender taking full advantage.

After a clean sheet in the Sydney Derby, Vedran Janjetovic retained his spot between the sticks when back up keeper Jerrad Tyson perhaps deserved some game time.

Janjetovic had a stellar performance in the Derby but was helpless to stop Urawa’s four goals.

The heavy defeat, their biggest in the competition to date, is a wake up call of sorts for the red and black who can’t rely on past success in the Asia if they are any hope of progressing.

While by no means a killer blow to the 2014 ACL Champions, the heavy loss has made things instantly harder for the Wanderers who will have to give the 5000 fans that did turn out at Campbelltown something to cheer about in their next two home games.

Feature image: Jaime Castaneda

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Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas
A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.

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