Castelen creativity guides Wanderers to Victory

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A goal and assist from Romeo Castelen gave the Western Sydney Wanderers a thrilling 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Pirtek Stadium in front of 17,073.

Castelen’s speed was no match for the Victory defence as he provided a precise cross in the 54th minute for Mark Bridge to score the first goal before blasting the ball past Danny Vukovic in the 79th minute for his own.

From kickoff the atmosphere was electric as the RBB attempted to make up for lost time while both teams set out to challenge for every ball, which made for an end-to-end contest.

Castelen looked to get the Wanderers onto the scoreboard early when he shimmied past Daniel Georgievski into the box and picked out Mark Bridge. Only a deflecting touch from a Victory defender stopped Bridge from slotting the Wanderers’ first goal.

The first goal should have arrived in the 8th minute when Nichols took the ball from a Victory player on half-way. The in-form Wanderer passed it though for Bridge who ran 50-yards but couldn’t get the right angle on his shot as it dribbled harmlessly to the right of goal.

Wanderers goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne almost gifted Victory the first goal when he fumbled a 19th minute corner. Berisha’s shot with his knee hit the underside of the bar and was cleared off the line.

Redmayne made up for his mistake within 10 minutes after Kosta Barbarouses played a one-two with Berisha to burst into the box and shoot. The shotstopper got a hand to the attempt however and deflected it wide.

Castelen sparked into life when he controlled Jamieson’s cross next to the penalty spot but Vukovic was able to get down low and save the Dutchman’s shot with his body.

The Wanderers went on the attack from the beginning of the second half as Castelen continued to charge with the ball into the box, on one occasion drawing loud penalty shouts from the crowd.

Western Sydney finally had a goal after Neville played Castelen in behind the Victory defence in the 54th minute, allowing him space to accelerate before crossing the ball across the face of goal for Bridge to smash in at the back-post.

The Wanderers nearly had two goals when Andreu headed Jamieson’s 63rd minute corner into the crossbar.

Ben Khalfallah squandered an opportunity to bring Victory level when his shot dabbled wide after Berisha turned Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the box and passed Fahid the ball.

Connor Pain then had a chance when Berisha laid him a pass but Redmayne managed to get crucial fingers to the curling shot.

The game was put beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Topor-Stanley found Castelen with a quick cross-field freekick that the Wanderers’ number nine brought down and struck towards goal. A hapless Vukotic couldn’t react quick enough as the ball rebounded off him into the net.

The Wanderers gleefully extend their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League while Melbourne Victory will look to rebuild next week after two losses on the trot.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 3. JAMIESON Scott, 4. TOPOR-STANLEY Nikolai (c), 6. NICHOLS Mitch, 7. CASTELEN Romeo, 8. DELGADO Dimas, 10. VIDOSIC Dario, 12. NEVILLE Scott, 17. AGUILAR Alberto, 18. ANDREU, 19. BRIDGE Mark, 20. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK)

Substitutes: 1. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 14. MEBRAHTU Golgol, 16. SOTIRIO Jaushua, 21. PEPPER Jacob.

Melbourne Victory: 1. VUKOVIC Daniel (GK), 2. GERIA Jason, 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel, 6. BROXHAM Leigh (c), 7. FINKLER Guilherme, 8. BERISHA Besart, 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta, 13. BOZANIC Oliver, 14. BEN KHALFALLAH Fahid, 16. MAHAZI Rashid, 17. DELPIERRE Matthieu.

Substitutes: 11. PAIN Connor, 15. GALLIFUOCO Giancarlo, 18. MURNANE Dylan, 19. HOWARD George, 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK).

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Michael Puterflam
Sydney FC and Manchester United fan. Digital Publishing Coordinator at Fox Sports Australia. B Media & B Commerce from UNSW. Former Guinness World Record holder for longest video game marathon (FIFA 11 for 30 hours).

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