Western Sydney Wanderers stretched their unbeaten streak to three games, after beating the Central Coast Mariners 3-nil, in sweltering conditions.
The Wanderers dominated the game and came away with their second clean sheet in row. The Mariners offered little in attack, with their best chances coming in the opening minute of the game.
With coaches Tony Popovic and Paul Okon in the stands, both sets of players were looking to impress, ahead of the Youth Asian Cup next January.
The game itself began at a frantic pace, considering the testing conditions. Wanderer’s goalkeeper Thomas Manos pulled of a fantastic one-on-one save in the opening 30 seconds, which lead to a Mariners corner.
The Wanderers began to wrestle back possession in the game, after the opening five minutes. Their dominance was capped off with a goal in the 29th minute, to Joshua Sotirio. The remainder of the half was uneventful, until the stroke of half time, when Mariners midfielder Josh Bingham picked up a red card for a harsh challenge on the Wanderers goalkeeper.
With the heat taking its toll on the young boys, and the Mariners down to 10 men for the whole second half, the game did not hit any real highs. The Wanderers struggled to put away the Mariners, something that Wanderers Coach Trevor Morgan recognised post-match, “we should have finished the game off earlier”.
The breakthrough did eventually come for the Wanderers, as they scored two goals in the closing 15 minutes of the match, with Jake McGing and Alusine Fofanah getting on the scoresheet.
Forward Mark Cindric looked full of confidence, after his involvement with the senior squad the week before. Cindric was effective playing with his back to goal, distributing possession and allowing his wide players to link up with the play.
Daniel Alessi also had a standout game, linking up with Matthew Stewart on the right flank. Their efforts were so successful that it eventually led to a tactical change by Mariners coach Patrick Zwaanswijk.
The Wanderers will play league leaders Sydney FC on, Saturday 14th of December, at Marconi Stadium, 5.00pm kick-off.