Melbourne leaves Western Sydney victorious

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Despite the Wanderers dominating the game for the first hour, fatigue began to set in as the Victory were able to make captivating attacking exploits that led to the side heading home victorious after defeating Western Sydney 3-0.

Only three players survived from the Wanderers side that defeated Melbourne City 48 hours earlier and times were desperate for the club, as they had even slotted in Iacopo La Rocca as a central defender.

The sheer quality of the Melbourne Victory team was a problem early on for the Wanderers with a change in configuration early in the match with Yusuke Tanaka and Sam Gallaway swapping sides. Gallaway was being tested and beaten by Archie Thompson on many occasions, but the swap now brought him face-to-face with Ben Khalfallah. Neither option was better off.

Khalfallah set up all three goals for the Victory and the onslaught began early despite the Wanderers dominating the game. Another defensive error by the Wanderers caught them ball-watching and leaving Besart Berisha unmarked.

Khalfallah bolted down the left and crossed the ball to Berisha who simply headed it in without interference and it felt like every other goal the Wanderers had conceded this season.

Youngster Yianni Perkatis attempted to even the score and his shot was pushed out by Nathan Coe. Kerem Bulut was near by and forced Coe to make a double-save in quick succession. In true Wanderers style, it turned into a game of pinball with Nick Kalmar eventually shooting the ball into the outside of the net.

The Wanderers only had two major moments to score and the second saw Romeo Castelen embarking on a spectacular sprint that left him rolling around near the penalty area. The Wanderers were awarded a free kick and Kalmar was up for the taking forcing Coe to palm the ball out.

A fantastic assist by Khalfallah to Archie Thompson drew Ante Covic out of the box only for Thompson to shoot the ball directly behind Covic.

Right when you thought history could not repeat itself, Covic managed to do the same action moments later, running out of the box in an attempt to stop the ball before it came too close.

This time Covic completely missed the ball and Berisha simply lobbed the ball over his head into the goal with only nine minutes remaining.

There was no hope for the Wanderers to come back in this match given the time remaining and the consistent effort and persistence by Khalfallah who on his own outclassed any of the Wanderers attempts.

Even though the Wanderers won on Wednesday night and now lost on the Friday, they still seem to be facing the same mistakes every week. A grueling schedule has brought exhausted players and an ever-increasing injury toll.

Yet after seven games in 20 days it is almost expected.

The Wanderers will next be taking on FC Seoul in the Champions League on Wednesday night before heading back home to play the Newcastle Jets at home on the Saturday.

Western Sydney Wanderers: Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Yusuke Tanaka, Kerem Bulut, Yianni Perkatis (84″ Steve Kuzmanovksi) , Jaushua Sotirio, Romeo Castelen, Iacopo La Rocca, Jason Trifiro (76″ Nicholas Ward), Samuel Gallaway, Nicholas Kalmar (70″ Labinot Haliti) and Ante Covic.

Unused substitutes: Daniel Alessi, and Dean Bouzanis.
Melbourne Victory: Mark Milligan, Nicholas Ansell, Gui Finkler (83″ Rashid Mahazi), Besart Berisha, Ben Khalfallah, Archie Thompson (86″ Connor Pain), Daniel Georgievski, Mathieu Del Pierre, Carl Valeri, Scot Galloway (61″ Leigh Broxham) and Nathan Coe.

Unused substitutes: Jesse Makarounas and Lawrence Thomas.

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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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