Wanderers in ACL peace pact with Evergrande


Western Sydney Wanderers and Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao extended olive branches to each other ahead of Wednesday night's AFC Asian Champions League clash at Parramatta Stadium, playing down a repeat of last year's fireworks.

The Wanderers knocked out the Chinese side in the quarter-finals after a spiteful first leg at Parramatta.

Then Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi marched onto the pitch to remonstrate with officials after both Gao Lin and  Zhang Linpeng were red-carded in the defeat.

Wanderers striker Victor Saba subsequently took to social media to post a picture of his busted lip after he claimed he was struck by Zhang.

Lippi, who has since retired, was banned for four ACL matches for his outburst while Wanderers coach Tony Popovic was outed for two.

Both sides did their best to play down the acrimony ahead of their group stage clash on Wednesday.

"We know very well what happened last year, I saw the match so I know very well," Guangzhou Evergrande coach and Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro said.

"But we can't forget that we came here to play football, to play our match. We have our qualities and we have to use our qualities to win the match.

"For sure the players cannot think about coming here to get revenge or fight and get some yellow cards or red cards. We came here to play our game."

Wanderers captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley said he was not expecting any hangover from last year's match and there was no animosity in Western Sydney's camp.

"They're clearly a world-class side and world-class players and we know that from experience," he said.

"It's a home game for us, we're excited to be playing in front of our fans again and hopefully we'll get a result."

Source AAP