The Western Sydney Wanderers have become Australia’s second ever entrant in an Asian Champions League Semi-Final as the away goals rule saw the Wanderers advance despite a 2-1 loss to Guangzhou Evergrande in China on Wednesday night.
It was a tense night in Guangzhou with the Wanderers leading 1-0 after their home leg and the Chinese giants were determined to come back and advance to defend their title.
There was plenty of possession in the opening stages for the Chinese champions but they couldn’t really put any chances on goal, with Ante Covic having little to do.
But on the half hour mark Guangzhou had their chance to hit the lead as Sun Xiang sent in a cross that found Alberto Gilardino who volleyed at goal but his effort scraped over the crossbar on the way out.
But four minutes later a golden opportunity presented itself toGuanzhou after Iacopo La Rocca felled Elkeson in the box, handing Guangzhou a penalty.
That allowed Elkeson to dust himself off and take the penalty but the idea that the player fouled shouldn’t take the penalty proved true, as Elkeson’s shot up the middle allowed Covicto stand up and make the save.
The home fans were spurring their fans on, which allowed Guangzhou to dominate the possession as they completely tore Western Sydney apart but they couldn’t find a goal, keeping it scoreless at the break.
The Wanderers finally made an attacking effort in the second half as they started the half well and 13 minutes in to the half they had the lead.
Mark Bridge was played clean through on goal on-on-one with the keeper who brought him down, luckily escaping a red card and handing Western Sydney a penalty.
That allowed Tomi Juric to step up just before the hour mark and hit a penalty which put Western Sydney 2-0 up on aggregate.
But two minutes after the opener Guangzhou as Alessandro Diamanti was able to receive the ball from a Gilardino header, allowing him to sneak the ball under Covic to close the gap to one.
Needing two more goals Guangzhou went for the match and tried to attack Western Sydney with chance after chance coming to the Chinese champions, but they were denied time and time again.
The goal finally did come in stoppage time as Elkeson was rewarded for his hard work throughout the match as he put a chance away giving Guangzhou the lead on the night but having them still needing an additional goal to win the tie.
Guangzhou tried hard in the final stages but they couldn't find the goal they needed as the Wanderers advanced on away goals.