March 19, 2015 12:58:56 UK
Western Sydney Wanderers lost Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic to a hamstring injury as they earned a 0-0 draw at FC Seoul.
The result means Wanderers stay second in their Asian Champions League group but Spiranovic faces a spell on the sidelines with a recurrence of his hamstring problem after limping off six minutes before half-time at Seoul’s World Cup Stadium.
Tony Popovic’s side, who are 1.75 to win their next A-League match against Newcastle Jets, had already seen striker Tomi Juric pull out of the starting side after suffering hamstring tightness during the warm-up.
Wanderers needed to avoid defeat against the side they had beaten in the quarter-finals of last year’s tournament, as the second qualifying spot in the group is between the two teams.
The draw means the A-League side stay ahead of the Koreans on goal difference, with both teams having four points from three matches. They will meet again at Pirtek Stadium on 7th April in a match that will go a long way to deciding who joins Guangzhou Evergrande as going through to the knock-out stages.
Seoul failed to record a shot on goal in the match, which was short on incident.
Mauricio Molina shot over from two first-half chances for the home side while Wanderers failed to test keeper Yu Sangkun before the interval.
Western Sydney came the closest to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark when Labinot Haliti was given time to turn just outside the area but saw his fierce shot smack against the crossbar.
The visitors had a good chance 10 minutes later, Romeo Castelen cutting in from the right and having his shot blocked. The rebound fell to Kerem Bulut, who was denied by a point-blank save from Yu.
Wanderers are 3.50 to beat Newcastle Jets by a one-goal margin.
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