Western Sydney’s A-League resurrection has continued in stunning form, with Mark Bridge and Rome Castelen goals consigning Melbourne Victory to a 2-0 defeat and extending the Wanderers’ winning streak to seven matches.
Bridge netted in his fourth successive game in front of a packed-out Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night, when Castelen was released down the right flank and crossed for the in-form striker to drill home in the 54th minute.
The Red and Black Bloc had rested their vocal chords and were back in full force for the top-of-the-table fixture, and the ball movement and intensity from both sides rendered this end-to-end contest the most enthralling this season.
SCOREBOARD: WSW 2-0 MVC
|Wanderers 2-0 Victory|
|at Parramatta Stadium, December 12, 2015|
|5||Shots on target||4|
|11||Shots off target||15|
|Western Sydney: 2 (Bridge 54′, Castelen 79′)|
Melbourne Victory: 0
View full stats sheet
Castelen, 11 minutes from time, removed any doubts over Tony Popovic’s rebooted outfit holding onto its lead to surge four points clear at the A-League summit.
The flying Dutchman blazed into the box and pelted a shot at Victory custodian Danny Vukovic, who fumbled the ball into his own net.
Castelen had just about every trick in the book throughout the thrilling affair, though often still stuttered on the finish, save for an on-target low drive just shy of half-time that Vukovic parried to safety with his legs.
Although the Victory lost their customary attacking fluency in the second half, the reigning champions pressed so relentlessly there were times early on when Western Sydney struggled to keep a foothold on the game.
Kosta Barbarouses, who linked well with Gui Finkler and was denied by Wanderers goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne just inside the half-hour mark, cleaned up defenders while Alberto struggled to contain Besart Berisha.
The Albanian very nearly added to his six goals this season after an ugly error from Redmayne.
The goalkeeper could have done with some glue on his gloves when he spilled a spinning corner and was lucky Berisha’s subsequent close-range effort hit the post and landed just shy of the line.
That is not to say the hosts did not apply pressure.
There was some fine build-up combination work and a high-playing Scott Jamieson was seemingly everywhere.
Bridge could have had a hat-trick but for two missed inside the first 10 minutes.
The first, the 30-year-old miskicked a Castelen cross then, two minutes later, broke away off a Nichols ball into ample space but prodded the ball wide under pressure from an oncoming Vukovic.
It is the first time in almost two years Victory have lost consecutive games.
Topics: a-league, soccer, sport, parramatta-2150, nsw, australia