Diamonds cut Sydney to ribbons in AFC Champions League game

Sydney (AFP) – Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds smashed four second-half goals past Western Sydney Wanderers to start their AFC Champions League with a thumping 4-0 win on Tuesday.

Shinzo Koroki and Tadanari Lee struck within two minutes of each other before Tomoaki Makino and Rafael Silva also got on the scoresheet as the Group F visitors ran riot in Sydney.

The result gives Urawa an early boost in their campaign for a second Champions League crown, but dents the Wanderers’ chances of emulating their fairytale title run of 2014, when the club was just two years old.

Urawa shaded a shapeless first half, with Yuki Muto forcing a sharp early save from Vedran Janjetovic who also did well to smother a chance which fell to Koroki.

It was Lee who prised open the home defence on 56 minutes, when his perfectly placed through-ball released Koroki who finished smartly with the outside of his right boot.

Two minutes later and Urawa took a stranglehold on the game, when the Wanderers’ defenders failed to clear and stood watching each other as Lee swept home the second goal.

Urawa capitalised on yet more slack defending when Makino, unmarked on the back post, prodded home a loose ball from a corner on 68 minutes to make it 3-0.

And four minutes from time, Brazilian forward Silva was afforded plenty of space when he raced clear and beat Janjetovic on his near post from the edge of the box.

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