See what the players had to say about the airport scenes on arrival from China.
Western Sydney Wanderers received a hero’s welcome at Sydney Airport on their return to Australia after securing a spot in the AFC Champions League semi-finals.
Red and Black supporters were in full voice on Thursday night to salute their triumphant team, who overcame defending ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday to set up a final-four meeting with FC Seoul.
The players were swamped by fans as they entered the terminal, with the squad embracing the hearty reception clearly relieved to be back on home soil.
As the crowd cheered their team the decibels rang loudest for spot kick hero Tomi Juric, who capped a week in which he was named in the upcoming Socceroos squad with the all-important away goal.
Speaking after the well publicised adversity the team faced on their trip, Juric was delighted to be able to share his side’s homecoming with the Wanderers’ faithful.
“You don’t get this every day when you come to the airport in Sydney, so it’s fantastic to see the fans joining in like this,” said Juric.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this. It’s a fantastic result, we’re into the semi-finals which is what we wanted.”
The 23-year-old certainly played his part when he stepped up to take a penalty after strike partner Mark Bridge was fouled in the box. It was the same end Brazilian star Elkeson had missed from in the first half but unlike his counterpart Juric made no mistake.
“It was very loud, I just had to stay focused, concentrate on my job and put the ball away in the back of the net,” he said.
“I just had to concentrate on what I wanted to do. I had an idea in mind and I delivered that.”
While Juric’s next trip overseas will be in the green and gold as part of the Socceroos squad that will play Belgium and Saudi Arabia, he’ll unfortunately miss the Wanderers’ journey to South Korea.
The striker will be suspended from next month’s squad that will travel to face FC Seoul in the first leg of their semi-final having picked up a yellow card in consecutive weeks. However nothing could take away from the feeling Juric felt as his name echoed around the Sydney terminal.
“You know a lot of people doubted us but again we went out there and proved them wrong which is what we believed we would do.”