Western Sydney attacker Kwabena Appiah says the Wanderers are in a relaxed mood and ready to create history in the AFC Champions League.
The Wanderers face Al Hilal in the second leg of the final on Sunday morning AEDT.
The A-League outfit will take a vital 1-0 lead into the second leg thanks to Tomi Juric’s strike at Pirtek Stadium.
In Riyadh the Wanderers can carve a place in sporting folklore and become the first Australian club to win Asia’s premier football competition.
“We realise we are 90 minutes away from creating history,” Appiah told FourFourTwo.
“The boys have embraced all the attention and media. Saturday night was a great game even though we didn’t play to the levels we know we can play at, which is actually a massive positive going into the second leg.
“The boys are feeling well, we are relaxed but it’s a final, and a Champions League final so we are excited but aren’t getting too far ahead of ourselves.”
Appiah was on the bench for the first leg at Parramatta but has played an important role in the Wanderers’ ACL campaign, with 11 appearances from 13 games.
The 22-year-old winger said Western Sydney has been received well in Saudi Arabia and the experience of the club playing in back-to-back A-League grand finals has helped.
“Surprisingly the reception has been incredibly positive,” Appiah said.
“A lot of fans wishing us luck and asking for photos and making us feel welcome. Yeah I think playing three finals overall, if you include the first leg, has helped us with the pressure of a final. So now the mood is cool, calm and relaxed, but still excited to play the second leg.”
Goalkeeper Ante Covic was immense for the Wanderers in the first leg, keeping Al Hilal’s defence at bay. Appiah said the impact of the veteran has been vital.
“Ante Covic is a monster,” he said.
“He’s a freak. He’s saved us multiple times through this Champions League campaign. It gives us confidence to have a keeper of his nature defending our goal.”1 comment