Wanderers home in on ACL qualification

16 April 2014 04:13:51 EST
Mark Bridge was on target for the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney Wanderers are on the verge of qualifying from their AFC Asian Champions League group after winning 2-0 away to Ulsan Hyundai.

Wanderers are top of Group H, and face bottom side Guizhou Renhe at home in their final group game next week.

Mark Bridge and Brendon Santalab scored second-half goals in Ulsan to give Tony Popovic's side their third win in five games.

The only way they can miss out on qualifying for the Round of 16 is if they lose at home to Guizhou, who are already out of contention, while Ulsan win away to J.League side Kawasaki Frontale.

Bridge played the leading role in Korea, scoring the opener with a fine header then setting up the second for Santalab 10 minutes from time.

Popovic made several changes from the side that beat Melbourne Heart 3-2 on Saturday to clinch second place in the final A-League table.

Jarrad Tyson came in for keeper Ante Covic, and was soon into the action as he came off his line quickly to thwart Shin-Wook Kim in the 12th minute. Tyson saved twice from Sang-Woon Han, and prevented Brazilian Rafinha giving the home side the lead from close range just before the break.

Wanderers had created little going forward in the first half, but almost went ahead two minutes after the restart when Bridge just failed to capitalise on a poor back pass. He was not to be denied a second time, though, heading home from a pinpoint Shannon Cole cross after 61 minutes.

With Ulsan chasing an equaliser near the end, Western Sydney made them pay when Bridge's cross was converted from close range by substitute Santalab.

Western Sydney Wanderers are 11/8 to win the A-League Grand Final.

Melbourne Victory are 17/20 to win their elimination final against Sydney FC, who are 14/5 while the draw is 11/4.

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