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  • Gong Show Rings Up A Draw


    mack

    The Western Sydney Wanderers headed to Wollongong Stadium for the first time ever to take on the Wellington Phoenix and the Nix earned their first point in Wollongong with a flip-flopping 2-2 draw.

    Wellington are based in Wollongong for the A-League season due to the border situation with New Zealand, giving the Wanderers a short bus trip down the coast instead of a long flight. Jordan Mutch and Mitchell Duke have a chance to make their season debuts off the bench having finished their quarantine time in recent days. A win for the Wanderers would catapult them into outright 2nd on the A-League ladder while the Nix were looking to escape their dismal position at the foot of the table. Wellington's biggest personell change was a goalkeeper swap to put Oliver Sail in the net.

    Ziggy Gordon had an early chance from a corner 2 minutes in, the Nix defended it well and turned it away for a corner on the other side and another minutes later that flashed wide of goal. Wellington went up the other end and Rene Piscopo turned Illawarra junior Tate Russell inside out before firing into the 6 yard box to win a corner.

    Wellington took the lead in the 8th minute, they carved the Wanderers open in the middle, leaving a hole in the centre of midfield for Ulises Davila who turned and put Mirza Muratovic in on goal. The striker split the defense, shot into a save from Daniel Margush only to easily pick up the rebound and pass it around the unfortunate keeper for a 1-0 lead.

    The 15th minute saw a flurry of Wellington activity, first Clayon Lewis fired a long range speculative effort from a free kick then Piscopo hammered a curling strike into the crossbar with Margush beaten. Nicolai Muller had the visitor's first shot in a long time with his 21st minute shot over the bar.

    In the last minutes before half-time Muller and Yeboah combined, with Yeboah taking a touch to turn on the ball and shoot hard to force Sail into a diving save. The Wanderers went into the break down a goal, having had a lot of possession but very little to show for it as they failed to break down a full 11 man defensive block.

    The Wanderers had a good chance early in the 2nd half, Ibini reacted first after a loose ball, and with the ball on a tight angle he knocked the ball hard and fast past the keeper but Muller was just out of position for what would have been a tap-in. Oliver Sail had a moment of madness that nearly cost his team the lead with an atrocious throw-out that he released backward in the direction of his own goal but without the power required to cause an own goal. He redeemed himself with a good reaching save from a Muller long shot. Yeboah then turned the ball into the keepers hands from a wide free kick. Davila went into the book for a reckless tackle from behind on Muller.

    20 minutes to play was enough for Carl Robinson to finally make some subs. He bought on Simon Cox & Bruce Kamau with Muller & Ibini coming off. Kamau didn't take long to get into the game, a nice shot from distance that Sail cleaned up neatly. Wellington were quickly attacking the other end and Davilla added to his shot tally with one that went wide.

    Western Sydney finally had a reward for their possession dominance. A planned set piece routine was O'Doherty with a chip to the far post, Baccus volleyed across the face of goal and found Yeboah who had a tap-in of a header that he couldn't miss. Wellington thought they were back on top shortly after with Cameron Waine only for the linesman's flag to deny him with an obvious offside call. Margush was beaten at the near post but rescued by the flag.

    Robinson 3rd & 4th subs, Duke & Mutch were a clear marker of intent to take all 3 points and they took the lead straight away. Simon Cox played it out wide for Wilmering and the fullback launched it into the box and found Kamau at the back stick.

    The topsy turvey game took another twist in the 77th minute as Wellington made the most from a central free kick. A weak cross was nodded back into the mixer and Loius Fenton got enough contact to knock the ball into the goal to make it 2-2. In the 87th both sides emptied their sub windows, the Nix bringing on Ridenton and the Wanderers replacing Wilmering with Aquilina. The Wanderers threw everything at Wellington but couldn't make a final cross or pass stick and the Nix escaped a game they were largely on the back foot for with a point. When the final whistle blew both sets of players went down on the turf to catch their breath after a hectic game.

    The Wanderers next match is against Adelaide United at Parramatta on Saturday February 27th with kick-off at 5:05pm.


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    Not long home from the game and I must say what an enjoyable experience to be at a decent game at a good stadium for football without having to suffer the Fox commentators; could have done with a big screen though. As for the Wanderers it's great to see some structure after a few years of very little. We should have shaded Wellington by the odd goal but there's nothing in a lot of these contests and Wellington are not as bad as their position suggests. Individually I thought that Ibini and O'Doherty struggled to make an impact and I wouldn't expect to see them in the starting line-up again unless we are strapped with injuries. Everyone else played their part and with more improvement to come we are definitely a top 4 outfit.

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    I was working in the US during the 2006 world cup. Our family used to go and watch the games on the big screens in a shopping centre in Fort Worth. It was always packed with Mexican immigrants who were so passionate. We had a ball watching the games with them.

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    5 minutes ago, Wanderboy said:

    WTF? Did you walk home? :)

    Some of us like to take our time, take in the views and sample the local food and drink rather than fly up and down the motorway :xnod: I was away 4 days for a game an hour or so south :D

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    10 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

    Some of us like to take our time, take in the views and sample the local food and drink rather than fly up and down the motorway :xnod: I was away 4 days for a game an hour or so south :D

    Your trip sounded fantastic. It's a lovely part of the world.

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    2 minutes ago, Wanderboy said:

    Your trip sounded fantastic. It's a lovely part of the world.

    Much need break and it was fantastic..good game too of course..

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    1 minute ago, Smoggy said:

    Much need break and it was fantastic..good game too of course..

    As I said last night, it's such a shame that a city with the football history of Wollongong, great inner city and almost perfect stadium doesn't have a team in the A-League.

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    10 minutes ago, Wanderboy said:

    As I said last night, it's such a shame that a city with the football history of Wollongong, great inner city and almost perfect stadium doesn't have a team in the A-League.

    Been saying the Gong should have a team since I started posting here. Ridiculous they don’t and the Macarthur Cows do.

    Edited by Smoggy
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    1 minute ago, MartinTyler said:

    Nah....stayed overnight close to the stadium...very decent breakfast and coffee then back down the far south coast !!

    Yeh, I figured that. Just havin' a larf. :)

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    It feels like in the final third we have a whole bunch of super subs. Everyone looks great coming off the bench against tired legs but when they earn a start they’re ordinary. Cox and Kamau were great off the bench and Ibini has been a good impact player. Never as good starting. Plenty of opportunities for players to step up and claim the starting spots.

    Been good to see Yeboah improving. Against Macarthur I thought he was going to hurt himself every time he got the ball but two goals in two games is hard to argue with. If he can get his decision making sorted (e.g. the Tate through ball that he got on the end of then gently dinked it onto the roof of the net) he could make a claim to start more often.

    Mutch was quality. I’m a big Baccus fan but I could easily see Dorrans and Much locking down the two defensive mid spots. Good problem to have I guess, they’ll all get used with the fixture crush coming up.

    I thought Natta did well. So far he’s had to man mark players like Matt Simon and Davilla, giving him completely different challenges to deal with. He hasn’t been embarrassed and will be getting some solid experience for a kid.

    Also Faghani showed again that he’s levels above the rest of the refs in the league. No howlers, let the game flow but didn’t let it get out of control, used the cards when necessary but didn’t go crazy. Wish we got him more often.

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    1 minute ago, Davo said:

    Also Faghani showed again that he’s levels above the rest of the refs in the league. No howlers, let the game flow but didn’t let it get out of control, used the cards when necessary but didn’t go crazy. Wish we got him more often.

    Also, not the bias of the rest of the a league refs.

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    5 hours ago, Smoggy said:

    This group would be very welcome at one of our games. They were great.

    They'll be at Bankwest in mid March.

    Plenty to digest in the twitter thread below.

     

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    Read quite a few comments about Mutch and how good he looked. Bit of perspective here he came on against a Nix side that look spent. 
    Don’t want to be the party pooper but let’s give for more than ten mins against a injury riddled squad. 
    it was a nice start nothing more for now 

    Robbo was correct 2 points dropped 

    at least yeboah is showing a little more life - so good to see duke back 

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    On 21/02/2021 at 9:53 PM, Keithie said:

    Natta was taught a lesson by Davila sadly

     

     

    I hope he learned a lesson or two from the trashing he got from Davila 

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    2 points lost, the amount of possession yet wellington were having all the shots, and the amount of balls into 6 yard box with no end result, very 1 dimensional play nothing through the middle.

    Troisi was missed muller looked tired and Ibini was there only in spirit. Dorrans will be welcomed back with open arms.

    Mutch seemed to be confident in his abilty to string out balls from the back and distributes quickly, will be a nice added welcome to our team. Duke would be better suited for the bombardment of crosses we peppered and lets hope he hasn't lost his heading skills. Netherless we are still undefeated since opening round and will be interesting to see our starting line up next week

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    after being at the game yesterday I just watched the last 15 minutes Mutch has a very eye pleasing touch of the Ball  (yes I know it was the last 15 minutes) but you can see the class in him in my view we are heading for good times with the makeup of the squad now. Cant wait to see Duke, Yeboah , Kamau running of the feed from Troisi or Mutch or Muller and Dorrans , dont forget Baccus also.

    I am hoping there is more to Ibini than we are seeing.

     

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    50 minutes ago, Keithie said:

    after being at the game yesterday I just watched the last 15 minutes Mutch has a very eye pleasing touch of the Ball  (yes I know it was the last 15 minutes) but you can see the class in him in my view we are heading for good times with the makeup of the squad now. Cant wait to see Duke, Yeboah , Kamau running of the feed from Troisi or Mutch or Muller and Dorrans , dont forget Baccus also.

    I am hoping there is more to Ibini than we are seeing.

     

    Ibini needs to trim down. He has bulked up like an NRL player.

    With regard to O'Doherty, i think he had a good game but we had 2 DMs on the pitch  who dont have the gravitas or size of Schwegler or Dorrans. It was his free kick to the left wing that set up the Yeboah goal.

    I looked at the first goal, and McGowan failed to stop Muratovic. Perhaps Baccus or O'Doherty could have stopped him but McGowan is the last line of defense. No blame on Gordon imo.

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    8 hours ago, Paul01 said:

    Ibini needs to trim down. He has bulked up like an NRL player.

     

    Looks a totally different player to the one that broke through at ESFC. I thought then he would go on to possibly make it in Europe. I was wondering why he didn't make it...now I think i know.

    Better to come from him...i hope.

    Edited by Smoggy
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    32 minutes ago, StringerBellend said:

    Are you Scottish?

     

     

     

     

    Miserable..check

    A distrust of any food with flavour..check

    Tight with money..check

    Dubious sense of humour..check

    Born in Scotland..check

    Ed is the real deal...

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    Just now, pseudonym said:

    "A free cup of Bovril for every dual citizen with a UK passport at Bankwest stadium"

    Ooooooooooo IN!!!!!! 

    Nowt wrong with a reet nice cuppa bovril like....can go the full nostalgia and take a piss in someone's pocket on the terrace..or piss up the back of the stand....

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    Slater on fox was going on about the Mutch tackle on Davila in the box late in the game saying it was a dangerous tackle potentially  could have been a penalty.

    I think Slater is on drugs,  the tackle by Mutch is another example of his abilities, he took the ball off Davila’s feet with touching him and Davila then fell over him. 

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    2 minutes ago, Keithie said:

    Slater on fox was going on about the Mutch tackle on Davila in the box late in the game saying it was a dangerous tackle potentially  could have been a penalty.

    I think Slater is on drugs,  the tackle by Mutch is another example of his abilities, he took the ball off Davila’s feet with touching him and Davila then fell over him. 

    The thing you have to keep in mind with Slater is that he is a total nob 

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