Western Sydney’s first foray in to the Asian Champions League has not gone as well as hoped as they fell to a 3-1 loss to Korean powerhouse Ulsan at Parramatta Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a perfect start to life in the Asian Champions League for Western Sydney as it took just 43 seconds for the Wanderers to score their first ever Asian Champions League goal.
It was Ulsan’s first competitive match of 2014 and the Australians caught Ulsan napping as Shinji Ono made a superb run to make space and flick a pass in for Brendan Santalab who volleyed the ball in to the bottom corner.
In the 16th minute Western Sydney nearly made it 2-0 and again Ono was the provider as his free-kick found Nikolai Topor-Stanley who got a header on it but sent it wide.
The match turned on a change in the weather with a downpour coming just after that change and it seemed to let Ulsan back in to the match.
Ulsan really started to go for the match creating plenty of work for the Wanderers’ defense and in the 35th minute they managed their equalizer.
Jerome Polenz and Topor-Stanley were unable to clear a ball which allowed Kim Shin-Wook to use his intimidating presence to pressure a mistake and simply pass the ball in to the back of the net.
With just two minutes to play before the break Ulsan hit the lead as a ball came in to the box and was powered home by a Ko Chang-Hyun half-volley to give the Korean visitors a 2-1 lead at the break.
Western Sydney started the second half well but were still restricted to shots from outside the box with Mark Bridge going close early, hitting his 20 yard shot over the bar.
On the hour mark Western Sydney had cries for a penalty when Bridge’s effort seemed to be blocked by the arm of Kang Minsoo but the referee disagreed and waved play-on.
Minsoo continued to frustrate the Wanderers at the other end and he made it three six minutes later as the ball fell to him to poke home a simple tap-in to seal the match.
Western Sydney tried to attack but they were never able to break down through a tough Ulsan defense who were strong.