Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Baccus 45+2′, Sotirio 68′) def. 0 Central Coast Mariners
The Western Sydney Wanderers have jumped into the top six after defeating the Central Coast Mariners 2-0 at Spotless Stadium.
Goals at either side of the half from Keanu Baccus and Jaushua Sotirio respectively ensured the Wanderers wrapped up the three points for just the second time this season while the Mariners still remain win-less after seven rounds.
It was a must win game for both sides who are yet to get going this season and were at risk of losing touch with the rest of the competition.
The Mariners sought to set the tone early and looked as though they were set to open the scoring had it not been for Wanderers goal keeper Vedran Janjetovic saving Michael McGlinchey’s close range effort.
Minutes later Sotirio came equally as close to opening the scoring, beating the goalkeeper and the post in an attacking opening ten minutes from both sides.
Western Sydney had the better of the chances in the first half and were rewarded for their persistence right on half time as Baccus found the back of the net for the first time in his career with a low shot from distance.
The goal conceded at the worst possible time for the Mariners who would have been content going into the break all square.
Buoyed by the opener, the Wanderers commenced the second period as they ended the first. It almost looked inevitable the Wanderers would add to their tally with Oriel Riera and Alexander Baumjohann combining well and leading the attack.
Mariners substitute Jack Clisby came close to levelling the scores after catch Janjetovic off guard from a set piece forcing the Wanderers goalkeeper to make an awkward save.
The game was ultimately put to bed as the Wanderers wound back the clock to produce a goal which took fans back to their glory days. It might have been Sotirio’s name which went on the scoresheet but it really was a team goal. Baumjohann, Riera and Bruce Kamau all combined to set up theo goal which was tapped in by Sotirio after an initial Ben Kennedy save.
The two goals were enough to secure the win for the Wanderers who occupy sixth position on the table for now.
Another Sydney derby awaits the Wanderers next Saturday at ANZ Stadium whereas the Mariners’ search for their first win takes them to Wellington.