A 3-2 loss to Seoul FC has the Western Sydney Wanderers staring down an early exit from the Asian Champions League.
It leaves the Wanderers with only a mathematical chance of progression.
After an early hiccup, Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said he felt his side controlled the game.
“We conceded a very early goal, it was a wonderful strike but we didn’t defend a few actions before that very well,” he said.
“We got punished and then the players responded well from the setback and controlled the game. It was really pleasing but we couldn’t get the breakthrough when we were on top.”
Lee Seok-Hyun scored the first goal with strike from 25 metres out just four minutes into the game before Seoul doubled the lead in the shadow of half-time from the penalty spot.
The visitors extended their lead to 3-0 in the 71st minute. The Wanderers fought back with goals to Terry Antonis and Lachlan Scott but it was too little too late.
Popovic praised his side’s fighting spirit.
“They kept fighting to the end,” he said.
“It’s a different group, it’s a much younger group that we have and they’re finding their feet in this competition. I think a lot of our players will benefit from this experience.”
Next up for the Wanderers will be an A-League clash with Adelaide United in Adelaide on Saturday night.