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Slick Western Sydney Wanderers blow Central Coast Mariners out of water

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 Central Coast Mariners 0

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Wanderers too good for Central Coast

Western Sydney welcomed the Central Coast Mariners to Parramatta Stadium looking to keep pace with A-League leaders Brisbane.

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The whispers that Western Sydney Wanderers were suffering second-season syndrome were emphatically put to rest last night with one of their most polished performances yet, a resounding 2-0 win over the A-League champions.

This was a warning to the rest of the league that the Wanderers' credentials as title challengers remain first-class. They comfortably dismantled Central Coast, their usual suffocating defence partnered by a new-found fluidity in attack, which was highlighted by a contender for goal of the year by Tomi Juric.

While the Mariners were by no means poor, there was little for them to take out of the match other than the news that former star Bernie Ibini returns on loan in place of the outbound Michael McGlinchey, who joins former coach Graham Arnold at J-League club Vegalta Sendai.

You beauty: Youssouf Hersi celebrates after putting the Wanderers 2-0 up on Monday night.

You beauty: Youssouf Hersi celebrates after putting the Wanderers 2-0 up on Monday night. Photo: Getty Images

Whether it was the lingering desire to avenge last season's grand final defeat or the yearning to kick-start their own title aspirations, the Wanderers' intent was evident from kick-off. Mariners defender Josh Rose was the first to fall victim to the hosts' pressing and was caught out by Jerome Polenz, who dispossessed his opponent to find Ono inside the box with a low cross. The Japanese star appeared certain to break the deadlock but an uncharacteristically poor first touch and a skied shot on goal gave the Mariners a massive let-off.

The Wanderers finally broke down the Mariners' defence after 20 minutes. The champions were reduced to last-ditch tackles, twice blocking crosses from Youssouf Hersi then a close-range shot from Iacopo La Rocca, but there no let-off when Juric latched onto resulting loose ball. The ball looked to have dropped a metre behind the Wanderers striker but that mattered little as Juric adjusted his position to slam a stunning bicycle kick past Liam Reddy.

The Mariners came within a toe's length of drawing level shortly afterwards. A cutback from Mile Sterjovski to Marcos Flores deep inside the box gave the Argentinian an open goal to shoot at. He opted for placement over power but a diving lunge by Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic turned the shot narrowly wide of the post.

Daniel McBreen of the Mariners in action. Click for more photos

Western Sydney Wanderers v The Central Coast Mariners

Round 11 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium. Follow us at twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Getty

The outstretched boot of Spiranovic proved to be all the more decisive just five minutes later, as the Mariners found themselves down by two. Another swift and calculated Wanderers counter-attack had the A-League champions defence chasing shadows as La Rocca surged forward and slipped a pass to Ono on the right flank. The marquee star whipped in a curved low cross that found Hersi mid-stride and the enigmatic Dutchman slammed the ball into the roof of the net with a first-time shot.

The premiers showed no respite after the restart and half the stadium thought they had a third in the 54th minute. A deep corner was floated to the edge of the box, where Polenz was the first to react. Despite having time to bring the ball down, he let-fly with a first time volley which whistled just past the upright.

Ono's evening was cut short in the 71st minute after he copped a stray elbow to the face during a challenge with Nick Montgomery, who was lucky to escape a second yellow card. Despite talks that he was seeking a move away from Western Sydney, Ono received a standing ovation from the home crowd of 15,786. The Wanderers continued searching for a third goal beyond the 90th minute but substitute Labinot Haliti was denied from close range.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 (Tomi Juric 20m, Youssouf Hersi 33m) bt CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 at Pirtek Stadium. Crowd: 15,786. Referee: Strebre Delovski.

Ladder after round 11

9 comments

  • Home ground, Mariners short turnaround after catering to the NZ internationals, which no other team had to, financial and team issues behind the scenes, new coach, loss of players overseas, no marquee players compared to three, $4 million handed to the opposition on a platter, first goal with two deflections... blown out of water, well no, but they should have been given all the issues, was a fighting loss against the odds, but don't let the facts get in the way of the FFA's scheme to artificially create an implanted side's gift passage to the top.

    Happy Xmas, Frank and the gang, the league is going swimmingly eh? Perth on life support, Heart a basket case, Mariners punching against the odds, Newcastle getting three men plus dog despite good form, and the chosen three sailing into the finals, the A League is turning into the unbalanced farce the clowns running it deserve...

    ...and don't rave on about your crowds, 'wanderland' types, if you had to put up with the disadvantages some have to you would be marching straight to A league headquarters chanting your little ditties on the way...

    Commenter
    Duke
    Date and time
    December 24, 2013, 1:58AM
    • Mate you need to relax, take a deep breath and calm down. It's just one game of the entire season...it's not the end of the world...and it's Christmas.

      Merry Christmas :)

      Commenter
      Take a chill pill
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 7:55AM
    • I now know that Western Sydney Wanderers are doing well,because of your reaction to a team from the ethnic heartland of Australia.
      Sydney has a great ethnic community in the western suburbs and its what has created the success of the team and not the FFA.

      Commenter
      Saso
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 7:56AM
    • Bad night eh Duke?

      The usual conspiracy theories about the wanderers mixed in with some out and out rubbish. Three marquees??? Name them! There's only Ono. All clubs lose players to o/s clubs and ccm have made it practically their business model to sell a player for a hefty transfer fee at the end of the season.

      Perth on life support - they sacked a coach! Tends to happen in football. Heart have played some good football but the results haven't gone their way (much like the nix). Jets are coming off their best ever average attendance figures and are over 12k for this season.

      You'd have thought that the chip on mariner supporter shoulder's would have come off after the GF win (fully deserved btw) - seems not though.

      Commenter
      Swifty - COYW!
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 10:34AM
    • What a silly rant by Duke, makes absolutely no sense. It was a great game and the better team won on the night. Plain and simple.

      Commenter
      Gman
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 11:29AM
    • Whinging about a short turnaround is sooooooooo Australian. The A league consists of only 27 rounds and 3 weeks of finals. When your team plays in China, Korea and Japan next year you can whinge about short turnarounds and long travels. But that's the price you pay for winning a premiership. 2 games in 4 days with less than a 100 kms of travelling is a very easy week anywhere in Europe. A few weeks ago AZ Alkmaar had to play Europa league in Kazakhstan on Thursday night and an away game in their domestic competition on Sunday afternoon. With the same starting 11! They won that Sunday.

      Commenter
      Earl
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 1:07PM
  • More than a bit spiteful Duke.

    Quite an evenly played game - best of the round, but Wanderers just too good in front of goal. And what a goal that one from Juric was.

    Commenter
    0verroared
    Location
    Qld
    Date and time
    December 24, 2013, 8:23AM
    • Was at the game & we were woefull. No back general like Zwaanswijk. We also have lowest no. of goals FOR. WSW were good in patches but we made it easy for them. Our 2 biggest faults: disorganised at back and just can't finish in front of goal. Simon & McBreen have done nothing since return from Asia. I will stick with the boys...we just have to face the fact that this is not our year. Duke is right too; WSW have been helped far too much. CCM have always pinched above weight but it's finally catching up with us this year.

      Commenter
      Mariner fan 2250
      Location
      Gosford
      Date and time
      December 24, 2013, 9:58AM
      • Gee Dean, never read so many excuses in one paragraph in my life....

        The FFA are not only assisting the team in Western Sydney to get a foothold, they are doing so with spectacular success. The game has grown because of it right across the board. This will only serve to benefit all clubs in the future with better sponsorships and TV deals available to all. And don't tell me the Mariners have never had any assistance. What would you prefer Dean, a park competition just to try and 'keep it even' that no one wants to watch?

        Commenter
        Col the Pariah
        Location
        Faulco
        Date and time
        December 24, 2013, 10:38AM
        Comments are now closed

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