The Western Sydney Wanderers have put on a strong performance in defeating the Perth Glory 3-0 in their Round 24 A-League clash at Pirtek Stadium.
The home side were far too good for the visitors throughout, with the win solidifying second place on the ladder with a two-point buffer over the third-placed Victory and fourth-placed Mariners with three rounds to play.
Wanderers went close to opening the scoring after a quarter of an hour. A nice interchange between Shannon Cole and Aaron Mooy left Cole in space on the left wing. His chip across goal was headed strongly by Youssouf Hersi forcing Jack Duncan in the Glory goal to parry it over the crossbar.
After 27 minutes Hersi was again at the centre of a great Wanderers opportunity when his pace took him between Glory defenders.
His shot forced another sharp save from Duncan with the rebound falling back into his path, although he failed to bring the ball back under control.
Three minutes from the break the Wanderers finally got the breakthrough. Jerome Polenz played a clever one-two with Hersi putting him in space down the left hand side.
Polenz ran to the edge of the penalty area and after his initial shot was blocked, he took a touch on his knee before rifling the second chance into the bottom left hand corner to give the home side the lead at half time.
For the Glory, who have scored just seven goals in their last nine games, attack was again an issue with their midfield and forwards unable to unlock the Wanderers defence and create any meaningful chances on goal.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, the home side doubled their lead with a great piece of individual skill from Mark Bridge.
Finding himself in space, Bridge made a scything run down the left wing and into the box. Despite the attentions of a Glory defender, he was able to manufacture room for himself and curl his shot inside the far post.
With half an hour to go, Tony Popovic brought on Shinji Ono, and not long after that Tomi Juric was sent in, and 12 minutes to go the pair combined with Hersi for the Wanders' third.
A beautiful through ball from Ono found Hersi running into the box and his cross found Juric who took a touch before blasting it past Duncan to put the result beyond doubt.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Polenz 42’, Bridge 61’, Juric 78’)
Perth Glory 0
12,128 @ Pirtek Stadiumcomments