A storming second half has seen the Wanderers finish top of Group H with a 5-0 win over Guizhou Renhe the biggest of any Australian club in the ACL.
Western Sydney Wanderers eased into the AFC Champions League knockout stage in their debut campaign with a 5-0 win over an under-strength Guizhou Renhe at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney.
A flurry of late goals in the final 15 minutes added to Shannon Cole-s early opener and though the visitors provided some resistance qualification for the home side was rarely in doubt.
A youthful Guizhou side contained few first-team regulars with a lengthy list of notable absentees headed by the suspended duo of experienced Bosnia-Herzegovina international Zvjezdan Misimovic and China icon Sun Jihai.
The equation was simple for the Wanderers who needed just a point to advance while they could even progress with defeat dependant on the result of Kawasaki Frontale and Ulsan Hyundai.
Any nerves felt by the home side were soon eased as Cole netted after just six minutes. Left fullback Antony Golec was allowed far too much latitude and his dribble into the penalty area ended with the ball reaching Cole who guided a volley in off the post.
There were shots from Labinot Haliti, and the some dangerous moments from Kwabena Appiah, but the best chance of the opening half came from the visitors in the final minute as captain Qu Bo adroitly ran onto a ball before flashing his shot narrowly wide.
The Wanderers had far more possession but struggled to truly assert their authority on the contest, and it wasn-t long until visiting goalkeeper was stretched again, as Fan Yunlong pushed Tomi Juric-s header over the crossbar.
The Wanderers finally cracked the resistance with a four-goal flurry in the final quarter-hour.
Haliti latched onto a wayward defensive pass to easily finish past an exposed Yunlong. Then substitute Aaron Mooy swept home from the penalty spot after the visitors were found guilty of an unnecessary push in the penalty area.
The goal of the match went to Shinji Ono as the Wanderers crowd favourite hit the sweetest of shots into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
There was still time for Nikolai Topor-Stanley to find the net with a close range finish as the Wanderers locked up first place in the group.
In Japan, Kawasaki Frontale defeated Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 leaving the Japanese second behind the Wanderers.
The Round of 16 away leg will be played on 7 May followed by the home leg on 14 May. To see who we will play watch live and exclusive on Fox Sports 3 and HD.
Western Sydney Wanderers 5 (Shannon Cole 6-, Labinot Haliti 75-, Aaron Mooy 81- pen, Shinji Ono 85-, Nikolai Topor-Stanley 88-) Guizhou Renhe 0
Image credit: George Suresh