| PHOTO: Jim Webster |
The Western Sydney Wanderers have been too good for the Melbourne Heart with a 2-1 win at Epping Stadium this afternoon.
All three goals were scored in the first-half as each side hit the back of the net with a penalty apiece through Western Sydney Captain Yianni Perkatis and Dylan Macallister respectively, before Daniel Barac gave the Wanderers the lead just before the break.
Western Sydney controlled the contest for the majority of the afternoon, while the Heart struggled to create throughout.
The Wanderers got off to a great start on a lovely Melbourne’s day as Nicholas Olsen weaved into the box and was brought down by Andrew Mullett on just nine minutes.
Perkatis stepped up sent Heart ‘keeper Alastair Bray the wrong way and slotted into the bottom corner.
But the Heart were back on level terms nine minutes later with a penalty of their own as Stefan Mauk was bumped over on the edge of the box. Macallister stepped up and beat Wanderers ‘keeper Aaron Liddell firing down the centre.
Mauk, fresh of his A-League debut last week, almost gave the hosts the lead with a bursting run down left before cutting onto his left, but the AIS graduate’s strike cannoned off the crossbar.
The Red and White were starting to control the game, but the Wanderers through Olsen still threatened.
Western Sydney, though, would go into the break with the lead as a long ball from Jacob Williams was clinically finished into the bottom corner by Barac three minutes before the interval.
The Wanderers were playing some brilliant football and went close to extending the lead on the stroke of the break from a Perkatis back-heel, but Barac had his effort deflected wide.
Western Sydney began the second with the momentum and didn’t look like the side sitting second from the bottom.
However Jacob Williams and substitute Alastair Quinn wasted their chances, before Perkatis was clipped in the box by Ersin Kaya, but referee Alex Azcurra waived play on.
The Wanderers were dealt a blow as Quinn was forced off with an ankle injury after a collision with Ben Garuccio.
Western Sydney continued to push for a third and Jason Trifiro almost found it, although the former South Melbourne midfielder curled wide.
The Wanderers remain in ninth with the win as Sydney’s superior goal difference keeps Western Sydney second from the bottom. The Heart stay third, but could drop to fourth if Adelaide beat Perth.