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Shinji Ono leads wonderful Wanderers come back

Ono and Wanderers players celebrate
Ono and Wanderers players celebrate
Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Facing a 3-1 deficit after the first leg, the away goal proved crucial as Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 to win on the away goals rule.

Shinji Ono was the hero in his last ever match for the club as he lead his side to the victory that sees Western Sydney advance to the quarter-final.

With no weekend games Tony Popovic didn’t need to rotate his squad anymore and so played four who didn’t start the Grand Final, including Michael Beauchamp.

Sanfrecce started the match well, despite not needing to score any goals, they had the first chance of the match through a long ball which found Naoki Ishihara who was denied by an Ate Covic save.

That seemed to spark Western Sydney in to action as Ono made his presence felt almost instantly as he made a rampaging run down-field and hit a powerful shot that scraped the post on its way out.

Youssouf Hersi, also ending his career with the Wanderers, looked to have a half chance as he got on the end of the ball but it was an awkward shot that looped high over the bar.

Sitting on a 3-1 first leg win, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, showed little interest in scoring and contained Western Sydney well as the Wanderers struggled for chances in a half that ended scoreless.

Eight minutes in to the second half Western Sydney should have gotten themselves back in to the tie as Iacopo La Rocca was allowed a header from close range but sent it over the bar.

It didn’t take long for Western Sydney to get their goal, though, as Ono chipped a ball back in to the box that was left alone, allowing Shanon Cole to jump on it and slam home the opener, making it just a one goal deficit.

Western Sydney continued to enjoy the momentum and on the hour mark they could well have doubled their lead as the ball fell to Tomi Juric who turned and sent his shot just wide.

With five minutes to play, Western Sydney hit the lead in the tie as Ono’s cross fell for Brendan Santalab who was able to lash it in for the 2-0 win, making it 3-3 on aggregate, sending the Wanderers through on away goals.

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