The red and black are back

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After making history for having the worst start to an A-League season, much worse than that of the New Zealand Knights, the Wanderers finally bounced back from their post-Champions League slump and defeated Wellington Phoenix 2-0.

After a poor performance in their previous game against Melbourne City, some changes were made to the Wanderers starting line-up.

Matthew Spiranovic had returned from international duty and was cool, calm and collected in the position of defensive midfielder. Whilst Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Brendon Hamill maintained one end of the Wanderers spine.

The red and black were dominant in the first half and this was proven in the 18th minute by Nikita Rukavytsya who scored his first goal this Hyundai A-League season.

This provided Rukavystya and many of his fellow team mates with a lot of confidence for the remainder of the match.

The heat was very testing on both sides with temperatures peaking at 35oC and a drink break was held in the 23rd minute.

Andrew Durante tried his best to equalise but the box was way too crowded and it made his shot practically pointless as it turned into a game of pinball.

For a second it looked as though Antony Golec could continue the Wanderers lead as he sent a sharp and powerful shot that went just wide of the goal.

The Wanderers lead in the first half was almost destroyed by Roly Bonevacia whose shot went a touch wide sending the Wanderers supporters into panic-mode.

The second half was the polar-opposite to the first, with the Wellington Phoenix dictating play and possession whilst the Wanderers were the more subdued side.

Labinot Haliti was making a lot of ground for the Wanderers but was consistently unable to finish the job.

Wellington’s Michael Boxall was proving to be a nuisance for the Wanderers defence with Brendan Hamill having to clear the ball in many dangerous scenarios for the home side.

Nathan Burns also managed to glide effortlessly past much of the Wanderers defence up until he reached Shannon Cole whom he collided with. There were calls for a penalty but the referee ignored these.

A fantastic run by Nick Kalmar provided Santalab with the perfect opening and positioning to score the second goal of the match and this put the Wanderers safely in front with 2 minutes remaining.

The Western Sydney Wanderers were finally able to break their stalemate winning their first match this Hyundai A-League season. Their next challenge will be on Valentine’s Day against the Newcastle Jets with questions on whether they will now continue on a high and get their second win this season.

Western Sydney Wanderers: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (C), Brendan HAMILL, Antony GOLEC, Yusuke TANAKA, Mateo POLJAK, Matthew SPIRANOVIC, Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (40” Shannon COLE), Labinot HALITI (80” Nick KALMAR), Mark BRIDGE, Tomi JURIC (76” Brendon SANTALAB) and Ante COVIC (GK)

Unused substitutes: Yojiro Takahagi and Dean Bouzanis

Wellington Phoenix: Ben SIGMUND, Andrew DURANTE, Manny MUSCAT, Louis FENTON (61” Michael BOXALL), Vince LIA (45” Alex RODRIGUEZ), Albert RIERA, Roly BONEVACIA, Nathan BURNS, Michael McGLINCHY, Roy KRISHNA (76” Kenny CUNNINGHAM) and Glen MOSS

Unused substitutes: Jason HICKS and Lewis ITALIANO

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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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