On This Day: 20th August 2014 – Wanderers stun Evergrande and Marcelo gets Lippi

It’s exactly a year to the day the Western Sydney Wanderers overcame all odds to beat Chinese powerhouse Ghangzhou Evergrande 1-0 in the first leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League quarter-finals.

It’s exactly a year to the day the Western Sydney Wanderers overcame all odds to beat Chinese powerhouse Ghangzhou Evergrande 1-0 in the first leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
 
In what would lay the platform for an aggregate victory over Marcelo Lippi’s side a week later, Anthony Golec’s cross-come-shot in the second half was the difference between the two sides in a fiery, memorable night.
  
Although the game ended in controversial circumstances, Wanderers fans will always remember this historic night for what happened on the pitch: which is precisely why the sight of World Cup-winning manager Marcelo Lippi storming onto the field will be forever etched in the memories of the Red and Black.
 
A giant of the game, Lippi has always cut a composed figure on the touchline. But when Evergrande midfielder Gao Lin and defender Zhang Linpeng were given their marching orders within two minutes of the other, the Ghangzhou manager stormed onto the field to confront referee Mohammad Abdulla Hassan Mohamed.
 
The ensuing tantrum was worthy of any tournament win – but unfortunately for the exasperated Lippi and his expensively assembled outfit, it would preface further anguish: the Wanderers returned to China to win on aggregate a week later. 
 
Histrionics aside, this was a night to truly savour for the Wanderers and a match that typified the heart, desire and collective hunger of Tony Popovic’s team.
 
What they said
  
“You know me quite well and I have participated in all the main events in my career, like the World Cup and Champions League. I know it was wrong to go on the field but I just wanted to ask the referee why he gave the second red card,” Lippi said.
  
“I didn’t understand why he chose this. And then when I got inside I also tried to apologise to him, but one of the people didn’t let me go inside. It’s disappointing.
  
“Everyone that knows me knows I’m an educated person. At the end of the match I just wanted to apologise but they didn’t give me the chance. I don’t know why.
  
“I’m not upset for the match that we lost 1-0. We have our home match in one week and I trust we can do a good performance at home and advance to the semi-final.”

 
    -    Marcelo Lippi, Wednesday 20th August, 2014
 
“I don’t know what he was upset about. Their coaches can not go on the pitch.”
 
    -    Tony Popovic, Wednesday 20th August, 2014
 
Relive the special occasion through the official match report here