It seemed more like a baseball score that a football score, yet the fact remains that it was a soccer game that found the Western Sydney Wanderers on the wrong side of a 6 – 1 humiliation by the Urawa Red Diamonds.
The loss eliminated the Wanderers from the Asian Champions League competition, leaving them plenty of time to wonder as they wander into the offseason with a bitter taste in their mouths.
True, a 1 – 0 loss would have eliminated them from the ACL as well, but to have it come in a record setter, the biggest loss ever in Asia, is not something that can be shrugged off and followed with the “Just wait until next year” pledge.
The Wanderers went into Japan on the heels of their elimination from the A-League at the feet of the Brisbane Roar.
Even had the Wanderers somehow managed a win in the Red Diamonds’ Saitama Stadium, they needed to score and score big in order to progress in the ACL.
The Wanderers were outshot by Urawa 11 – 1 in the first 35 minutes of play, when the Red Diamonds scored two goals, the rout was on.
Wanderers’ Coach Tony Popovic’s three-defender strategy could obviously use some re-evaluation and might be better used by inserting two keepers at the same time.