Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Parramatta: Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic was left to rue first half profligacy in front of goal after seeing the defending champions share a 1-1 draw at home with Korea Republic’s FC Seoul in Group H of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The reigning champions took the lead through Kerem Bulut in the opening stages of the contest and seemed destined to add further strikes in a dominant first half only to be let down by poor finishing, which eventually proved costly as Go Yo-han equalised for the visitors in the second half.
The draw leaves Western Sydney and FC Seoul level on points in second place in Group H with two games remaining, although the pair were able to close the gap on table-topping Guangzhou Evergrande to four points after the Chinese side lost 2-1 to Japan’s Kashima Antlers.
Match Report: Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 FC Seoul
“In the first half we totally dominated which was really pleasing for us to see that we could do that at this level,” said Popovic.
“Although we won it last year, it just shows how much the group is evolving, we hurt them in behind, we controlled the tempo, it was very good.
“The only disappointing this is that you’re not going in two or three up at half-time and then fatigue set in for us. A lot of players have given there all, but we’re down on numbers and down on options to come on.
“We gave our all, but in the second half we didn’t keep the ball as well as we had done in the first and they have some very dangerous players as they showed.
“We had a lot of opportunities to put them away in the second half but we didn’t and we started giving the ball away, they got on top and it was difficult, but we take the point and move on.”
Popovic’s opposite Choi Yong-soo was pleased with FC Seoul’s second half performance having lost to Western Sydney in the semi-finals last year having suffered a 2-0 defeat in the second leg at Parramatta Stadium.
“We played against the defending champion and they are a very good side. We had a very difficult game against them,” said Choi.
“After we conceded first, our players really concentrated and showed patience to try and win the game.
“We have two games to go and we’re going to play to get through the group of death. I’m sure we can go through from the group stage.”