Western Sydney Wanderers win pre-season friendly in Canberra
Advertisement

Western Sydney Wanderers win pre-season friendly in Canberra

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic refused to touch on creating home fixtures in Canberra as the Central Coast Mariners continue their presence in the capital.

The Wanderers were in the territory on Wednesday night for their pre-season friendly against Canberra FC, which the A-League team won 4-1.

Canberra FC's Thomas James and Wanderers player Jonathan Aspropotamtis fight for the ball.

Canberra FC's Thomas James and Wanderers player Jonathan Aspropotamtis fight for the ball.Credit:Jay Cronan

The Wanderers have made the journey to Deakin Stadium three times now and Popovic said he enjoys the competition provided by the Capital Football club as he focuses on going one further in the A-League this coming season.

"They're good, we like coming here because they give us a good hit-out," he said.

Advertisement
Canberra FC's Ian Gram and Wanderers player Dimas Delgado clash.

Canberra FC's Ian Gram and Wanderers player Dimas Delgado clash.Credit:Jay Cronan

"We love coming down. I don't know much about the league, what we do know is we always get a very good hit-out every year and that's why we enjoy coming here."

He said Western Sydney is still yet to finalise their squad for the coming season, but Wanderers fans will be hoping new recruit Jumpei Kusukami will be able to replicate the excitement of another Japanese player, Shinji Ono.

"It's still early days, he's still adapting and trying to settle in to Australia as the other new players are. He's taking a bit of time but we're seeing some good signs from him and also the other players," the coach said.

"We're trying to bring in another one or two if we feel they can strengthen the squad, but we're happy with what we've got."

Canberra FC's Thomas James sets up a cross against the Wanderers on Wednesday night.

Canberra FC's Thomas James sets up a cross against the Wanderers on Wednesday night.Credit:Jay Cronan

In the first half of the friendly, Wanderers dominated possession with patient passing and strength over the ball. But it was Canberra FC who created the first opportunity through speedy striker Thomas James, but Josip Jadric could not convert the play.

James was lively throughout the first half, providing excitement for the local side whenever they did have the ball, but also providing headaches for his highly-regarded opponents.

The A-League side made nine changes to the starting line-up at half-time, and despite dominating possession again, it was Canberra FC that drew first blood on the scoreboard through a perfectly-placed James header in the 55th minute.

It took a penalty in the 67th minute to level the scores through Western Sydney's Shannon Cole. And then some scrappy defence from the home side led to the Wanderers' second goal being scored soon after.

Another penalty was conceded and the visiting A-League team increased their lead to 3-1.

With Canberra Olympic qualifying for the FFA Cup Round of 16, Canberra FC may not be the last team the Wanderers play from the capital his season.

"We have got to get past Edgeworth first, that's our focus and that will be tough and we're looking forward to it," Popovic said.

AT A GLANCE

Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (S. Cole, L. Scott, M. Nichols, J. Melling) Canberra FC 1 (T. James)