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Reigning Champions Evergrande crash out ACL to Western Sydney

Holders Guangzhou Evergrande are out of the Asian Champions League on away goals after a 2-1 home victory  over Western Sydney Wanderers was not enough to reverse a 0-1 defeat one week ago to the A-League side.

ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINAL 2ND LEG

Guangzhou Evergrande 2
Diamanti 61′

Elkeson 90+1′

Western Sydney Wanderers 1
Juric 58′ (pen)

Western Sydney win 2-2 on away goals

Attendance: 39,874

In a controversial and hard-fought match, Western Sydney took the lead when Tomi Juric netted from the spot to give the Australians in a very strong 2-0 aggregate lead with an away goal. The award was given when Mark Bridge was fouled by Cheng Zheng after lobbing the Evergrande keeper in the 58th minute.

With the home side’s coach Marcello Lippi looking on from the stands due to a suspension for encroaching on the field of play in the first leg of the fixture, his countryman Alessandro Diamanti pulled one back for Guangzhou with an accurate finish in the box five minutes later.

Earlier Ante Covic was the Wanderers hero, punching clear Elkeson’s spot kick in the first half  as Evergrande pressed on backed by a large partisan home crowd.

Evergrande spurned several good chances to score again, but it was not until the closing minutes of the game that Elkeson atoned for his penalty miss by scoring at point-blank range in injury time to put Guangzhou 2-1 up on the night, but it was too late as Sydney held on for a historic victory.

Western Sydney Wanderers become the first Australian club to reach the semi-finals since Adelaide in 2008, and will face last year’s beaten finalists, FC Seoul.

After a very disappointing result, Guangzhou will look to dust themselves off and concentrate on winning their 4th consecutive title. With the club already knocked out of the CFA cup and six points ahead of nearest rivals Beijing Guoan in the CSL with eight games remaining, Evergrande look unlikely to finish 2014 empty-handed.

UK trained journalist and long-time Chinese football observer Cameron Wilson has been writing about Chinese football for over a decade...

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