We’re back in Asia and up to our old tricks after scoring twice in the final four minutes to make a perfect start to our Champions of Asia title defence.
Goals from Yojiro and Mark Bridge set-up the win against Japan’s most successful team in an impressive performance that was reminiscent of our maiden Asian voyage.
With a tantalising fixture against rivals Guangzhou Evergrande coming up on Wednesday (tickets available here), another win would put us in the box seat for qualification.
It’s contentious whether the winger’s shot was on or off target but for the moment we’ll put it down as an own goal.
Celebrations were put on hold momentarily when Kashima equalised but in the true nature of the Wanderers Asian performances we hit back with venom.
Yojiro’s brilliant touch got him past an opponent and behind the line of defence and, showing great poise, cutback to Bridge before staying onside to poke home the return ball.
From there the result was never in doubt and Bridge put the game to bed when he did it all himself with the last kick of the game.
Winning possession in the final third, Bridge initiated a quick one-two before quick feet and a fierce shot saw him score from outside the box.
We bring Asia back to Wanderland this Wednesday when we host rivals Guangzhou Evergrande. Watch us defend the title with single and Three Match Passes still available.
Kashima Antlers 1 (Doi 68’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Shoji og 54’, Takahagi 86’, Bridge 90+3)