Match of the Season Countdown #5


We count down the best matches of the 2013/14 season with our incredible 5-0 thumping of Chinese side Guizhou Renhe match number five

With the season done and dusted (save for the small matter of a Champions League Quarter Final) we thought we would take you through the best matches of 2013/14.

ACL Group Stage: Western Sydney Wanderers 5-0 Guizhou Renhe

Coming in at number five in our countdown of the matches of the season is our 5-0 rout of Chinese FA Cup Winners Guizhou Renhe. The AFC Champions League Match Day 6 encounter not only booked the Red and Black-s place in the Round of 16 but sent a clear warning to the rest of the competition.

The result, which meant that we topped Group H, was all the more remarkable considering the result of our first ever match in the competition less than two months prior.

Our debut had not gone to plan with a 3-1 loss at home to 2012 Champions Ulsan Hyundai leaving many pundits asking if Wanderers had what it took to make it in Asia.

Having been prematurely written-off, we won three out of our next four matches – including a revenge away win against Ulsan – to set-up the contest against Guizhou, only needing a draw to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Our men in Red and Black went on to play a night to remember at Wanderland with an outstanding 90 minutes against Guizhou Renhe ending in the largest ever win by an Australian side in the Champions League.

Right from kick-off it was apparent we were hungry for all three points with the opening period dominated by fluent and positive play from the home side, leaving Guizhou out of shape and out of sorts.

It didn-t take long to break through with Antony Golec receiving too much space down the left hand side and dribbling the ball all the way into the box where his wayward shot found Shannon Cole. Cole, exhibiting superb control, chested the ball down and cleanly struck an incredible left footed volley into the back of Shen Peng-s net.

The second half went on to seal one of Australia-s best club displays in Asia.

After 30 minutes of relentless creative and forward movement Labinot Haliti eventually broke through for the home side-s second goal in the 75th minute.

The pressure had become too much for the Chinese defence and a lapse in judgement saw Guizhou-s backline gift the ball to Haliti from a misplaced pass. From there our number seven only had the keeper to beat and effortlessly guided the ball past a stretching Peng and between the sticks.

Haliti goal had opened the flood gates with Aaron Mooy next on the score sheet.

Captain Michael Beauchamp was shoved in the box with Mooy comfortably slotting the ensuing penalty kick.

What came next was a goal that will be talked about for years to come as Shinji Ono scored one of the goals of the season.

With the ball bouncing away from goal just outside the 18 yard box, Ono wasted no time with a powerful volley that sizzled past everyone inside the penalty area and blasted into the top of the net.

The ferocity of the shot left a shocked and helpless defence with nothing to do but pick the ball out of the net while sending the crowd into raptures.

While Ono-s 85th minute cracker looked to have finished off the match Topor-Stanley saw it fit to give Wanderland one more thing to sing about.

Topor rose highest to meet a swooping Shannon Cole corner, sending the ball inside the net for the fifth of the evening.

The entire night was that of celebration, from Cole-s early opener to the realisation that we were through to the knockout stage as Group H winners. A clear sign was sent to Asia saying the Wanderers were here and that we meant business.