Wanderers' finishing delights Popovic

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While Western Sydney had to hang on for their first win of the 2017 AFC Champions League, their coach was thrilled with how they took their chances

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic hailed his side's composure in front of goal in their 3-2 win over FC Seoul in the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The Wanderers revitalised their hopes of progressing from Group F with the victory in South Korea on Wednesday night, with Popovic's men surging to a 3-0 lead just past the hour mark and then holding on as Yun Il-lok inspired Seoul's comeback.

Scoring has been Western Sydney's problem throughout the 2016-17 A-League season - only Adelaide United have notched fewer goals in Australia's top-tier this term - but the Red-and-Black were much more clinical at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Teenage striker Lachlan Scott kick-started the Wanderers' win on his ACL debut, poking Terry Antonis' through-ball past Seoul goalkeeper Yoo Hyun in the 24th minute.

Lachlan Scott FC Seoul v Western Sydney Wanderers AFC Champions League 15032017

Lachlan Scott, Western Sydney Wanderers

Antonis doubled the visitors' lead with a Panenka penalty five minutes before the interval, while Jaushua Sotirio chipped Yoo in the 63rd minute after behind played through by Mitch Nichols.

ACL 2017: Wanderers triumph, Adelaide & Jeju in thriller

"You never expect a score of 3-0, but we took our opportunities very well," Popovic was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.

"We expected FC Seoul to fight and they did. They got the back in the game, but after all, we're delighted to get three points away from home."

Western Sydney's boss claimed his side, who had conceded nine goals in their first two Group F fixtures, are already looking forward to the return match against Seoul at Campbelltown Stadium on April 11.

Terry Antonis FC Seoul v Western Sydney Wanderers AFC Champions League 15032017

Terry Antonis, Western Sydney Wanderers

"We will gain a lot of confidence from this performance and result," he said.

"Now we will [looking] to repeat this result at our home ground."

The result saw the Wanderers leapfrog Seoul into third on three points, with Shanghai SIPG (9) and Urawa Red Diamonds (6) occupying the top two positions that result in qualification to the Round of 16.

Damjanovic: FC Seoul & WSW can't afford another loss

After three straight defeats to start their 2017 ACL campaign, Seoul are in serious danger of missing out on the next round just a year after reaching the semi-finals.

"If we keep conceding goals like today, we can't win," Seoul coach Hwang Sun-hong said.

"We need to stabilize our defense as soon as possible."

Hwang added: "It's true that the situation has become very difficult for us.

"I have to think about many things, but what's certain is that we need to give our best efforts until the end."

 

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