Wanderers suffer demoralising loss in ACL
IF Western Sydney were seeking solace in the Asian Champions League after all the off-field angst of the past three days, a night out in Campbelltown proved the wrong place to look.
The Wanderers' ACL campaign got off to the worst possible start on Tuesday night, humbled 4-0 by Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds.
For the club that won the tournament in 2014, it was a chastening reminder of the quality that ACL opponents bring.
Tony Popovic's side was effectively picked off in the second half, an initial rustiness from Urawa quickly scrubbed away to devastating effect.
The visitors were the side whose season hasn't started yet, but by the end you wouldn't have known.
Shinzoh Koroghi opened the scoring early in the second half, strolling through to lash the ball beyond Vedran Janjetovic, then two minutes later set up Tadanari Lee for the second.
Tomoaki Makino poked home the third from a corner and Rafael Silva drove the fourth past Janjetovic at his near post.
In their third ACL campaign it was Western Sydney's worst continental defeat.
Those seeking omens would note that the 2014 side also lost its opening game before going on to win the thing, but by the end the Wanderers players cut dejected figures.