Sport Football Wanderers begin ACL defence with a win
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Wanderers begin ACL defence with a win

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The Western Sydney Wanderers have started their Asian Champions League title defence with a 3-1 win against Kashima Antlers in Japan.

A scoreless first half was a solid start for the Wanderers, who took out the 2014 tournament despite struggling through a disappointing A-League campaign

But the opening score came not long after the break, when Mark Bridge’s shot was deflected into his own net by Kashima’s Hiroyuki Takasaki in the 54th minute.

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Antlers would soon hit back though, with Shoma Doi equalising in the 68th minute as the home side looked to push on for a win.

But it was the Wanderers who would kick on, with Yôjiro Takahagi getting the crucial breakthrough in the 85th minute to give Western Sydney the lead back.

The valuable three points would be sealed just moments from time when Bridge curled home a brilliant effort into the bottom corner.

Meanwhile, the cold, hard reality of life in two competitions is about to dawn on the Brisbane Roar after their heartbreaking loss in their AFC Champions League opener.

A deflected free kick in added time handed a 10-man Beijing Guoan an unlikely 1-0 victory over the Roar, whose consolation prize is a nightmare week of travel as they look to salvage their A-League and Asian campaigns.

Brisbane fly out to Perth on Friday for their clash with the ladder-leading Glory the following night, and will head straight to Japan from there in preparation for their next Champions League match against Urawa Red Diamonds.

– with AAP

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