Sydney Wanderers reach quarterfinals of ACL

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014
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SYDNEY (AP) — Brendon Santalab scored late as Western Sydney Wanderers beat J-League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals in their Asian Champions League debut season.

Shannon Cole scored in the 55th minute and Santalab doubled the lead in the 85th to level the series aggregate 3-3, helping the Australian club advance on away goals after a 3-1 defeat last week in Japan.

Western Sydney, formed two seasons ago, is only the second A-League club to reach the quarterfinals in the continental club championship.

Also advancing Wednesday were FC Seoul and Qatar club Al Sadd, each also on the away goals rule, and Saudi club Al Hilal, which beat Bunyodkor 3-0 at home to follow up a 1-0 win in Uzbekistan last week.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said the result took some of the sting out of losing to Brisbane 2-1 in the A-League grand final on May 4.

"After a week of adversity we had with the grand final and losing away from home, it was just a fantastic performance and a well-deserved result," Popovic said.

Hiroki Mizumoto missed a chance to restore Sanfrecce's two-goal overall lead when he headed over the crossbar with 15 minutes left. Former Japan midfielder Shinji Ono, playing his last game for the Wanderers, crossed into the area and Santalab fired home to seal the away-goal win.

"It was a tough game," Ono said. "We were two goals behind, but I believed in the team and everyone believed in each other and that's why we got a good result."

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