The Red & Black host FC Seoul on Tuesday night with the Asian Champions League knockout stage in sight.
After a less than ideal start, the Wanderers’ quest to progress from the group stage the 2017 Asian Champions League suddenly looks a whole lot more promising.
The Red & Black’s gutsy 3-2 win in South Korea against FC Seoul on Match Day 3 put them to within three points of Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds, who occupy the coveted second place spot.
The Wanderers will head into Tuesday’s match in Campbelltown knowing that another win against the South Koreans could bring them level with Urawa, who play runaway group leaders Shanghai SIPG the same night.
Results pending, the Wanderers could be set for a massive trip to Urawa for Match Day 5, where a qualifying spot could well be on the line.
While fans will be mulling over the potential scenarios, Tony Popovic and co won’t be looking much further than first doing the business over Seoul.
Despite coming home from South Korea last month with an invaluable three points, the Wanderers will be wary of the way Seoul clawed their way back and threatened to steal a point.
After taking a 3-0 lead with goals from Lachlan Scott, Terry Antonis and Jaushua Sotirio, Seoul’s Yun Il-lok bagged a quick-fire double to put the Wanderers on notice.
Although the Red & Black were able to ride out the pressure, Tony Popovic will be keen to not loosen the grip this time around.
In spite of the fact that they are yet to register a point in this year’s competition, Seoul are a team of undoubted quality and will be spurned on by the knowledge that anything but a win in Campbelltown will extinguish their hopes of progressing out of the group.
They will no doubt look their star striker Dejan Damajanovic to lead the charge—the Montenegrin boasts more than 120 goals in over 200 appearances for the Club.
Damajanovic was kept fairly quiet in the last meeting by an improved Wanderers defence who will need to put a similarly astute performance if they are keep to the powerful forward at bay once again.
With so much on the line and both sides desperate for the three points, the stage is yet for another pulsating chapter of the Wanderers’ colourful Asian Champions League story.