AFC Champions League Review: 2014 winners Wanderers thrashed, Hulk inspires 10 men

Updated: 

Western Sydney Wanderers made an abysmal start to their AFC Champions League campaign as they were thrashed 4-0 at home by Urawa Red Diamonds.

Tony Popovic guided his side to the title in 2014, but, after failing to qualify for last season's competition, Wanderers' return to the Champions League did not go to plan on Tuesday.

Urawa were the better team throughout and, despite failing to score in the first half, ran riot after the break, netting four times in half an hour.

Shinzo Koroki grabbed the first goal and then had a hand in Tadanari Lee's second two minutes later, before Tomoaki Makino and Rafael Silva added to the scoreline.

 

HULK SMASH SECURES WIN

Urawa are joined at the top of Group F by Shanghai SIPG, for whom Hulk inspired a 1-0 win at FC Seoul despite the visitors playing the final 30 minutes with only 10 men.

With the game goalless after 53 minutes, Hulk cut inside from the right and unleashed a powerful left-footed drive into the top-left corner to give the Chinese side the lead.

It was not plain sailing from there, however, as, just six minutes later, He Guan fouled Dejan Damjanovic in the area to earn a second yellow card.

Damjanovic stepped up to take the resulting penalty himself, but his effort was saved by Yan Junling and the 10 men held on.

 

JAPANESE CHAMPIONS ON TOP

In Group E, Kashima Antlers - another Japanese outfit - lead the way after one game as they beat Ulsan Hyundai 2-0 at Kashima Stadium.

Mu Kanazaki and Yuma Suzuki fired second-half goals to secure three points for the J1 League champions, who were beaten by Real Madrid in the FIFA Club World Cup final in December.

Elsewhere in the group, Brisbane Roar and Muangthong United played out a goalless draw in Australia.

The Thai visitors, who failed to win a single game in their only previous Champions League group stage campaign, mustered 17 shots, but could not force a winner.