Last night the Western Sydney Wanderers woke the A League to their potential. Inspired by a vociferous home crowd, the like that hasn’t been heard in the A League before, Wests gave Adelaide a six goal soccer lesson.
From the outset Wests were hungrier and gave very little time to Adelaide to settle on the ball, and it was the western Sydney outfit who looked like they should be sitting second on the ladder. Enigmatic (actually a compliment) striker Mark Bridge opened the scoring after winger Hersi lobbed a ball into the box and the striker’s run was untracked. It was 27 minutes later and on the stroke of half time that Bridge made it 2-nil with a goal for his ‘best of’ collection. Bridge took the ball on the left just outside the box, before turning defender Iain Fyfe inside out and then ramming it home off his left. Before the referee had time to call an end to the 1st half the locals had one more present for the fans. It was Kresinger and Ono combining with some heading and volleying to turn on a pretty little piece that fans will talk about for years to come. 3-nil halftime.
Most teams who go to half time with a 3-nil buffer will take their foot off the pedal in the second half, it’s one of those unfortunate customs of professional soccer. But this game was different. Wests came out with the same gusto of the first half and set about ‘flogging the dead horse’ that was Adelaide. It was Japanese star Shinji Ono who made Adelaide pay for Galekovic’s rare hiccup. A misdirected goal kick landed at the feet of an open Youssouf Hersi who headed straight to Ono, the midfielder won a race for the ball and waltzed into the box to smash a goal across the flailing Galekovic making it 4-nil (52 mins). Six minutes later Ono was provider for Bridge in what was a beautifully taken shot giving the Adelaide glove-man no hope. Low and hard into the keeper’s left corner. Adelaide would go on to pick up a consolation before Joey Gibbs made it 6-1 to answer the crowds calls for a sixth goal.
Western Sydney Wanderers are shocking the Australian soccer public with their early success, currently sitting third on the ladder. However, the success off the field is no surprise to this blogger. Being at the ground to watch Wests v Newcastle Jets a number of weeks ago I was blown away when I witnessed the ‘red and black block’ (supporter group) arrive at the ground as one, from the various waterholes in Parramatta. They appeared as the populas of Western Sydney does, a ‘mongrel dog’. They’re mixed blood, they’re hybrid they are Western Sydney.
Next week Wests head to Perth another team on the rise. Perth beat defending champions Brisbane Roar last night and last week recorded an impressive 3-0 victory over Emile Heskey and the Jets