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Ex-Palace boss Popovic stunned to lead Western Sydney Wanderers to Asian summit

Western Sydney Wanderers boss Tony Popovic branded the experience "surreal" as his players defied a sold-out King Fahd International Stadium to win the Asian Cup.

The Wanderers held Al Hilal 0-0 in the second-leg of last night's final to win the Cup 1-0 on aggregate.

Former Crystal Palace defender and coach Popovic was stunned by the achievement of his team in front of a 65,000 partisan crowd.

"The game was everything you expect from a final. It was difficult. They are a very good team, they had fantastic support, but we are an excellent team and we showed over two legs how good we are," said Popovic.

"It is still a little surreal for me as a coach. I am sure it will hit home in the next few days when we reflect. For me, I am just proud for these players and our club. The first time in the competition, to win it, I think in the future we will really understand how special this run has been and how it was to win this title.

"We don't have the resources or the funds that some of these other teams have, but we have something that money can't buy, the desire to win, the resilience to play for each other and do anything they can to win. No money can buy that and that's what these players have in abundance."

Western Sydney will now represent Asia at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup despite only having been founded in April 2012."

"Of course we are honoured that Western Sydney Wanderers will represent Asia at the World Club Championship. We are extremely honoured to be able to do that, and we will certainly do our confederation proud," said Popovic."

"We will go there to give it our very best, we will enjoy the experience, and it is a fantastic achievement for our club in such a short space of time."


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