The Western Sydney Wanderers Academy have been defeated 5-4 in a contentious Semi Final match against Villarreal in the 2018 Guangzhou International Championship.
A hat-trick by Dylan Ruiz-Diaz as well as a goal from Jacob Casha was unfortunately not enough for the Red & Black to progress with Villarreal awarded an offside goal to clinch a spot in the Final of the youth tournament.
The Wanderers played with a high tempo and dominated the play from the outset, taking the lead in the 20th minute through Ruiz-Diaz who tapped in the opener.
Ruiz-Diaz then went on to double the Wanderers’ lead ten minutes later, firing from his own half with an incredible strike that caught Villarreal’s keeper off guard
Villarreal went on to pull one back a minute later, making it 2-1 after a mistake by the Red & Black.
The Wanderers pushed to increase their lead with a number of chances on the counter and their hard work paid off when Ruiz-Diaz scored his third goal of the match.
But, just as quick as the Wanderers celebrated their two-goal buffer, they conceded the next, and a deflection saw Villarreal round off the first half 3-2.
The Red & Black started the second half on the back foot and two quick goals by Villarreal saw them make it 3-4 in a matter of minutes.
Yet the Wanderers stood tall and continued the battle, pushing for a spot in the final and their efforts paid off with Casha firing a powerful shot to equalise.
Tensions were rising between the two sides and in the 90th minute Villarreal were awarded an offside goal, putting them in the lead.
To make things worse for the Wanderers, goalkeeper Oliver Kalac was also wrongfully sent off after a clean tackle.
Despite an additional three minutes of additional time, the Wanderers were unable to find an equaliser and their brave effort saw them knocked out in the Semi Final of the 2018 Guangzhou International Championship.