The Western Sydney Wanderers faced Adelaide tonight in Parramatta in a demolition derby that the home team took all three points from, with a 5-2 win.
Western Sydney began very brightly, with a couple of corners that Adelaide had to scramble clear. Not more than 3 minutes into the game Adelaide gave away the first yellow card of the contest, as Loius D'Arrigo smashed Wanderers captain Mitch Duke with an errant yellow card. Pirmin Schwegler lined up the resulting free kick, launched into the wall at high speed and the Wanderers got lucky with a heavy deflection off the hapless D'Arrigo that left the Adelaide keeper dumbfounded and gave the Wanderers the lead.
In the 12th minute the Wanderers fell yet again to a ridiculous officiating call. Ben Halloran had launched the ball into the stands, and was slightly clipped on the leg long after the ball had flown. Alex King inexplicably decided to award a penalty to Adelaide that Riley McGree slotted home.
Adelaide had the lead in the 20th minute, woeful Wanderers defending stood off and watched as Halloran picked up a loose ball and fired from 20 yards out into the bottom corner past the dive of Daniel Lopar.
The Wanderers immediately hit back again in this see-sawing encounter and then incredibly took the lead. First it was Bruce Kamau and Schwegler working a 1-2 pass on the Adelaide byline, Kamau's shot pinballed off Paul Izzo and one of his defenders to fall at the feet of Nicolai Muller who couldn't miss a 2 yard tap-in.
Western Sydney had their 3rd of the night and the lead a mere 2 minutes later. Adelaide gave away a throw-in near half-way, Kamau found Simon Cox, the striker tapping it over the defensive line for the run of Duke, he outpaced the Adelaide cover defence and blasted a right footed half-volley past Izzo before setting off to the corner flag for his patented splits celebration.
38 minutes and the Wanderers had their fourth, and the game's sixth. Adelaide left an acre of space on the right flank that was occupied by only Duke and Adelaide's Michael Maria, the Captain was found by a Schwegler cross and Izzo came out a mile but failed to get to the ball first, leaving Duke to nod the ball into an open net.
The game calmed down quite a bit in the second half, with back and forth attacks that ultimately didn't result in a clear chance at goal. In the 65th minute the Wanderers would have taken a 5-2 lead if not for some lazy play from Nicolai Muller. Bruce Kamau picked up the ball on the edge of his penalty area, and dribbled past multiple Adelaide defenders, until confronted by the two central defenders, he sent Muller through on goal with a neat pass, Muller slotted it past Izzo but was denied by the offside flag. A glorious goal cancelled out in a fashion that Muller should never have allowed to happen.
Simon Cox got the job done to give the Wanderers a deserved 5th goal. Kamau once again sliced through the centre of the Adelaide defence, Cox kept himself onside, the striker took one touch, fired at goal, and then finished up as Izzo's save looped into the air, Cox hooked the ball into the open net.
The Wanderers closed out the game well, denying Adelaide the ball and any good chances. The end of the game saw the introduction of Jordan O'Doherty, in his first A-League game after suffering an ACL injury a year ago. Riley McGree's long range free kick went over the bar and that was the last action of a game where defending was not a priority.
The Wanderers play Sydney FC next weekend on Friday the 28th in Kogarah, kick-off at 8:00PM.