GREAT FINISH: Steven Lustica celebrates his goal for Western Sydney Wanderers against China's Shanghai SIPG.
GREAT FINISH: Steven Lustica celebrates his goal for Western Sydney Wanderers against China's Shanghai SIPG. Zhang tongzhou

Wanderers recover to beat Shanghai

IT was a triumphant end to the season for the Wanderers, after Jaushua Sotirio's last-minute winner against Shanghai SIPG FC earned them a 3-2 win.

Western Sydney played their final Asian Champions League match in front of just over 5000 fans at Campbelltown Stadium, with the game providing plenty to cheer about as they salvaged some pride from the season.

It might have been a dead rubber, but it provided one of the more exciting starts to a game all season.

Just 21 seconds after kick off, Shanghai struck the quickest goal of the tournament when Lu Wei put them ahead. It was also the third fastest goal in the history of the ACL.

But their lead barely lasted three minutes before Jumpei equalised and the drama continued when Steven Lustica put the Wanderers ahead to score his first goal of the tournament.

Three goals in six minutes, with Jumpei instrumental for the home side.

The game settled, briefly, but Shangahi were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute when Borda brought down Elkeson and the Brazilian made no mistake from the spot.

The pace dropped off in the second half, by comparison, but both sides had their chances to win it. Somehow, given what transpired in the first half, the score remained unchanged right up until the 89th minute, when Sotirio snatched the win.

There was little to play for with the Wanderers no chance of progression and Shanghai already assured of their spot. The visitors left their superstars Oscar and Hulk behind, while the Wanderers, playing their final game of the season, made it a farewell to foundation player Shannon Cole by handing him the captain's armband for the game.

The last time the two side's met, the Wanderers were trounced 5-1, so they did come out with a point to prove. It was just their second ACL win of the season.

The Wanderers' next match will be against English Premier League giants Arsenal in July, but there are bound to be some changes to the squad in the weeks leading up to it.


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Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

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