A first half brace from Oriol Riera paired with a header from Christopher Ikonomidis has rekindled  Western Sydney Wanderers’ hopes of finals football in a convincing 3 nil win over Brisbane Roar at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Oriol Riera provided a dream start for the Wanderers when he found the back of the net just four minutes into the first half.

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Fellow Spaniard Alvaro Cejudo whipped in the free-kick from the far left which Riera powerfully headed past Jamie Young from the centre of the area for the opener.

Gombau’s men were playing with far more urgency than their Queensland counterparts and almost doubled their lead soon after when Cejudo’s side-footed strike forced Young into a low save.

Massimo Maccarone did well to clip a ball forward to Fahid Ben Khalfallah from the midfield however some frantic defending from Jack Clisby kept him at bay.

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The Wanderers continued to pressure well and exchange passes in the front third, and were rewarded in almost identical circumstances when Riera again proved his aerial prowess.

Marcelo Carrusca curled in the cross which Riera glanced toward goal with a well timed header. Young pulled off a brilliant save to keep out the attempt however his parry dropped to the feet of the Spaniard who merely had to tap it home to become the Wanderers most accomplished goal scorer in a single season and double the lead on the night.

Christopher Ikonomidis tripled the lead for the Red and Black just short of the interval after slotting away a header of his own.

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Alvaro Cejudo worked his way down the right flank before pinpointing his cross into the area, once again exposing Brisbane’s struggle in managing crosses swung in from width.

Brett Holman came off the bench shortly into the second half and injected some life into the sluggish Roar outfit from his number 10 role however the Wanderers seemed far too comfortable to be concerned.

Ikonomidis and Kearyn Baccus surged past a flat Brisbane backline and if not for a desperate chase down from Jack Hingert would have surely piled on the misery for the travelling Roar.

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Massimo Maccarone momentarily restored some hope to Brisbane when he slipped in at the back post to put away Eric Bautheac’s low driven cross.

Brett Holman tactfully let the ball slid past him allowing the Italian veteran to prod it home, however upon a review from the VAR he was deemed to be in an offside position and the goal was retracted.

The win has catapulted the Wanderers into sixth spot heading into the final round however a result against Adelaide is still needed in order to retain that spot. The Roar remain on equal points with Perth Glory meaning will fittingly face in a final do-or-die round.

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Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (RIERA Oriol 4′, 15′, IKONOMIDIS Christopher 40′)

Brisbane Roar

ANZ Stadium (9,622)

Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Owen Goldrick & Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Adrian Arndt

Western Sydney Wanderers:
20. JANJETOVIC Vedran (gk), 4. RISDON Joshua, 5. HAMILL Brendan (c), 3. CLISBY Jack, 24. LLORENTE Raul, 42. BACCUS Keanu, 15. BACCUS Kearyn, 6. CARRUSCA Marcelo, 18. IKONOMIDIS Christopher, 9. RIERA Oriol, 10. CEJUDO Alvaro

Substitutes: 7. LUSTICA Steven, 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 16. SOTIRIO Jaushua, 35. MOURDOUKOUTAS Tass, 40. SUMAN Nicholas

Brisbane Roar:
21. YOUNG Jamie, 19. HINGERT Jack, 8. PEPPER Jacob, 4. BOWLES Daniel, 77. FRANJIC Ivan, 7. KRISTENSEN Thomas, 17. MCKAY Matt (c), 14. KALFALLAH Fahid Ben, 33. HENRIQUE, 22. BAUTHEAC Eric, 9. MACCARONE Massimo

Substitutes: 10. HOLMAN Brett, 11. GAMEIRO Corey, 16. OXBORROW Mitchell, 24. O’TOOLE Connor, 31. WHITE Brendan

 

 

 

 

 

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Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.