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Santa The Hattrick Hero

Mar 24 2017 08:55 PM | mack in First Team Match Reports

Fresh of becoming the Wanderers all time leading goalscorer, Brendon Santalab smashed a brilliant hat-trick to put down Melbourne City 3-1 at the Sydney Showground.

Along with his brace against Wellington last week, Santalab's treble sees him rocket to equal 3rd in the golden boot race behind Besart Berisha & Bruno Fornroli & level with Jamie Maclaren. 3 minutes into the game however and the prognoisis for the Wanderers looked grim after they conceded a goal to Neil Kilkenny. Nick Fitzgerald crabwalked sideways inside the Wanderers penalty area, he played a short pass across the top of the box and Kilkenny lined up a shot on the edge of the penalty area semi-circle. It looked off target but was on course to hit Jonathan Aspro, and the young defender shied away from contact with the ball. His decision to turn his back on the ball was costly as it rebounded from his back into the dead centre of the goal, with Vedran Janjetovic left stranded.

The Wanderers hit back level after 20 minutes, Nico Martinez waltzed past a City defender, then found Santalab, he took a touch that bought him in towards goal, and his second was a stunning strike that beat Thomas Sorensen at the near post.

Scott Neville combined with Santalab to put the Wanderers in front just after an hour. Kearyn Baccus launched a cross field bomb of a pass down to the right wing, Scott Neville chased after it, halted the ball before it crossed the byline, then curled in a left footed cross onto the penalty spot, Santalab was on the mark, with three City defenders converging on his position, he knocked a pinpoint header into the bottom far corner of the net. He celebrated in front of the RBB with a trademark jumping leap.

In the 67th minute Santalab had his hat-trick, and the Wanderers were two in front. Jack Clisby maruadingdown the flank having overlapped Jumpei, he cut inside perhaps to shoot, but his touch was heavy, but a challenge with Brattan saw the ball loop up into the penalty box. Santalab & Sorensen both attacked the ball, Santalab getting there first, his deft touch passed the outstretched hands of the keeper and nestled into the back of the net.

Melbourne City saw a glimmer of hope in the 75th minute, as Baccus tripped Nick Fitzgerald in the box and conceded a penalty. Bruno Fornaroli stepped up but made a mess of the spot kick, it was weak, low and central, and Janjetovic kicked it away with his feet. As much as City huffed & puffed they weren't able to get a clean chance on goal again, and the Wanderers ran out winners 3-1.

Although the result didn't change any position in the top 4, it gives Brisbane a chance to go level on points while Perth could end up a single point behind. The Wanderers themselves are now just 2 points behind Brisbane & 1 behind Perth, with their 3 games remaining they could very well find themselves in position for a home final.

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Western Sydney Wanderers vs Melbourne City 24/03/2017 7:50PM

Mar 22 2017 06:34 PM | mack in First Team Pre-Match Articles

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Melbourne City

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Date and Local Kick-Off Time at Stadium: Friday 24 March 2017 - 7:50PM

Sydney Kick-Off Time: 7:50PM EDT

Round: 24

Competition: A-League Regular Season

Location: Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney

Stadium: Sydney Showground

Click here to view the record

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Showground Curse Lifted Against Nix

Mar 19 2017 08:35 PM | mack in First Team Match Reports

The Western Sydney Wanderers cemented their hold on 6th place & the last final series place with a comfortable 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix, for a first win at the Sydney Showground.

Wellington looked like they were still in the warmup early in the game, and the Wanderers took advantage for Nico Martinez to open the scoring. Scott Neville & Mitch Nichols kept the ball alive with a back & forth, Neville had to slide in with a challenge, fortunately it rolled across the penalty area to Martinez who shot first time on his right foot sending the ball into the bottom corner.

The visitors had a decent half hour following the goal but they copped a goal from Wanderers legend Brendon Santalab. Nichols broke down the left wing, strode in towards goal before providing Santalab with a simple pass at the edge of the penalty area. Santalab cut the ball back on his left foot then blasted his shot through the hands of Moss for.

After half-time Santalab had his brace, and became the Wanderers outright leading scorer, Jack Clisby's cross to the far post was found by Martinez, he took a touch then lofted the ball back into the 6 yard box, Santalab attacked the ball, slamming a header for the Wanderers 3rd goal.

Gui Finkler gave Wellington a glimmer of hope with a 76th minute free kick, Aspro was lucky not to have given away a penalty with another example of holding at a set piece, Finkler didn't need to be on the penalty spot, beaten Janjetovic with his sublime technique. The two goal deficit proved too much, as Wellington's effort fizzled out without making too much trouble for the Wanderers defence.

Western Sydney face Melbourne City in a key match as they head into the final series, and will need a comprehensive victory to give their supporters real hope that they can go all the way to the Grand Final.

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Western Sydney Wanderers vs Wellington Phoenix 19/03/2017 7:00PM

Mar 16 2017 03:41 PM | mack in First Team Pre-Match Articles

Western Sydney Wanderers vs Wellington Phoenix

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Date and Local Kick-Off Time at Stadium: Sunday 19 March 2017 - 7:00PM

Sydney Kick-Off Time: 7:00PM EDT

Round: 23

Competition: A-League Regular Season

Location: Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney

Stadium: Sydney Showground

Click here to view the record

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Wanderers The Seoul Survivors

Mar 15 2017 10:23 PM | mack in First Team Match Reports

A nail biting Asian Champions League group stage match has resulted in the Wanderers taking all three points with a 3-2 win in Korea tonight.

The Wanderers scored three unanswered goals and looked to have the measure of their Korean opponents, only for Yun Il-Lok to fashion a comeback with two stunning goals. The Wanderers held out against the relentlessness pressure to effectively kill Seoul's chances of progression from the group.

Opening the scoring was young gun Lachlan Scott, after Terry Antonis weaved his way through the Seoul midfield, he poked a ball in for Scott and his finish took a slight deflection off the keeper to nestled into the back of the net.

Antonis turned from provider to scorer on the back of a penalty won by Jack Clisby. Clisby swung in a cross that collected the arm of his marker, and the referee dubiously awarded a penalty for a deliberate offside. Antonis went straight down the middle with a penalty out of the Paneka playbook, the keeper went the wrong way and had no chance.

Jausha Sotirio put the Wanderers three in front when he was put clean in on goal by Mitch Nichols. The goalkeeper came out to meet the through ball but stopped when he realised he would get nowhere near it, Sotirio lobbed the keeper neatly to beat him to goal with the first bounce.

FC Seoul took an eternity to come into the game and their comeback was the work of one man. Yun Il-Lok absolutely destroyed Brendan Hamill inside the penalty area, twisting the fullback around before unleashing a left foot strike that beat Janjetovic with sheer power and perhaps a slight deflection from Hamill.

Il-Lok gave his team a huge chance of coming away with a point when he scored his second in the 72nd minute. If his first shot had a touch of luck his second was pure magic, he nutmegged Baccus, launching a missile that gave Janjetovic no chance at all.

With 20 minutes to go, the Wanderers drew back deeper & deeper in defense, but they held out with a determination not seen very often this season to pick up their first Asian Champions League win for the tournament.

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