The Western Sydney Wanderers have ended their 2017 AFC Champions League campaign on a high with an entertaining 3-2 over Shanghai SIPG at Campbelltown Stadium on Wednesday night.
A remarkable first half saw four goals scored after the opening 24 minutes before substitute Jaushua Sotirio’s late winner minutes from full time sealed what was a memorable win for the Red & Black.
It was a fitting finale for outgoing Foundation Player Shannon Cole, who made his 20th AFC Champions League appearance on the night—the most of any player in Wanderers history.
Shanghai got off to the best possible start when Wu Lei fired home from the edge of the box after just 21 seconds.
Far from stunned, the Wanderers were quick to reply just two minutes later as Jumpei Kusukami latched onto a clever through ball from Terry Antonis before poking past Sun Le in goal.
It would soon be three goals in six minutes when Steven Lustica put the Red & Black 2-1 up, powering home from close range after a smart cutback from Kusukami.
The hectic start to the game continued when after 24 minutes Shanghai were awarded a penalty when Aritz Borda was adjudged to have fouled Elkeson in the area.
Elkeson stepped up and converted straight down the middle to make it 2-2.
Wu Lei had a great chance to grab his second of the match when he broke the line but the Chinese international skewed his finish wide of the post.
Following the break, the game settled into a less frantic pace as the two sides began to firm their defences.
Terry Antonis went close to finding a third with a free kick from distance though his effort was parried away for a corner.
Though the Wanderers would find their winner just minutes from full time, as Sotirio finished off from close ranger after some neat interplay between Nicolás Martinez and Kusukami.
The result means the Wanderers finish the Champions League campaign with six points from their two wins, while Shanghai were pipped by Urawa Red Diamonds to top spot in Group F.