Wanderers’ woes continue against Victory

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The rivalry between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory is one that is young but full of excitement and passion.

For the team in Western Sydney, history seems to be repeating itself once again as they had a great opportunities and were simply unable to secure a win as the Victory managed a 2-1 win.

Wanderer Labinot Haliti had some of the best chances in the match that could have secured the Wanderers’ first win, but he was forced into scenarios where he either stretched his leg past the ball or he shot it into the side of the net or over the top of the goal.

The tension between the two sides transcended from the terraces onto the pitch with Besart Berisha brutally knocking over Shannon Cole which was unnecessary. Berisha was quiet for the remainder of the match but he fought for every opportunity the Victory created.

The first half certainly displayed Victory’s attacking prowess which was far superior to that of the Wanderers, who were relying on Haliti to finish off chances.

Nikita Rukavystya almost broke the goal-scoring drought for the Wanderers as he went on a fantastic run but Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe was able to tip the ball over the woodwork.

Despite the prosperous start for the Wanderers, Carl Valeri was able to curve the ball past Ante Covic and scored the opener of the match.

Kosta Barbarouses almost doubled their lead in the opening of the second half, swerving through the Wanderers defence only to send a straight ball just wide of the goal.

The Wanderers seemed to have brought on an entirely new squad in the second half as the players looked rejuvenated and were bursting with energy.

The red and black were finally able to bring forth an equaliser after Nikita Rukavytsya assisted recent signing Nick Kalmar, who then shot the ball into the far right side.

This was followed by a great cross by Antony Golec and Mark Bridge sprinting down the field only for his shot to deflect off the Victory’s defence into the distance.

The Wanderers dominated the game in the second half and the Victory were certainly caving into the pressure with balls being wasted and even keeper Coe kicking the ball out of the field.

Mateo Poljak was able to corner Coe and provided an opening for Bridge but he was unable to score in the empty goal.

This dominance saw a brief break when the Victory scored their second and final goal in the match. A strong shot forced Covic to push the ball out of the danger area, sending it back into the field of play.

Unluckily for the Wanderers, it bounced into the feet of Gui Finkler who without hesitation sunk the ball into the back of the net, increasing the Victory’s lead to 2-1.

Debutant Steve Kuzmanovski almost scored off one of his first touches after a smart ball forced Nathan Coe to push the ball over the net, but that was one of the final opportunities for the Wanderers to score.

The game concluded at 2-1 and the upcoming break for the Asian Cup will be definitely important for the Wanderers as they did not have the most conventional pre-season; this will give them an opportunity to start the remainder of the season fresh in February.

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, Brendan HAMILL, Shannon COLE, Antony GOLEC, Mateo POLJAK, Nikita RUKAVYTYSA, Yianni PERKATIS (61″ Jason TRIFIRO), Nick KALMAR (73″ Jaushua Sotirio), Mark BRIDGE, Labinot HALITI (87″ Steve KUZMANOVSKI) and Ante COVIC (GK).

Unused substitutes: Dean Bouzanis and Daniel Alessi.

Melbourne Victory squad: Leigh BROXHAM (C), Gui FINKLER, Besart BERISHA (89″ Andrew NABBOUT), Kosta BARBAROUSES, Fahid Ben KHALFALLAH, Dylan MURNANE (46″ Daniel GEORGIEVSKI), Carl VALERI, Jesse MAKAROUNAS (64″ Rashid MAHAZI), Scot GALLOWAY and Nathan COE (GK).

Unused substitutes:  Connor PAIN and Lawrence THOMAS (GK).

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Jessica Csaszar
Jessica joined the team for 2014 covering Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League.

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