The Western Sydney Wanderers are 90 minutes away from a Champions League title after a 1-0 win over Al-Hilal in front of a record crowd at Parramatta Stadium.In what will surely go down as the most magical night in this young club’s history the Red & Black look composed, confident and in control as a Tomi Juric strike gave them a deserved lead.
Ante Covic too played a key role with the clean sheet ruling out any chance of Al-Hilal taking out the tie on away goals.
A resolute defence was rarely tested but Covic was up to the task whenever a question was asked of him, again proving that he truly does get better with age.
Even so, it was Juric who got the loudest cheer from the 20,053 capacity crowd.
With barely an empty seat to be seen, Juric’s introduction as a substitute was greeted with an ovation usually reserved for rock stars and the volume only increased with every touch he took thereafter.
While Western Sydney looked in control, Juric gave them the scoring threat they were perhaps lacking and it was he who expertly tucked away a brilliant Golec cross that sent Wanderland into mayhem.
Since day one of this competition the Red & Black have been underdogs, only once heading into a match with favouritism and in typical Western Sydney fashion the goal not only put the Wanderers ahead but put Western Sydney as a region in the Asian spotlight.
It could have got even better too as Juric seemed to be picking apart the Al-Hilal defence with ease, strolling past defenders and finding space.
The post though denied a second goal on one of those runs while the keeper prevented another when the two other substitutes, Vitor Saba and Matthew Spiranovic combined to create a chance for the latter.
And while overall victory may still be 90 minutes away, tonight was one of Australian football’s proudest moments.
A club for the fans and by the fans has taken it to the best that East and West Asia has to offer and in the process, gone home victorious.
A stadium wrapped in Red & Black, rocking from start to finish is only part of the story of a Club that has touched so many and achieved so much in such a short amount of time.
Watch this space ladies and gentleman.
This Is History.