Historic first half launches Wanderers to mighty win over Western United

Five first-half goals to Western Sydney Wanderers sent Marko Rudan’s side on the path to a comprehensive win over Western United at CommBank Stadium on Saturday night.

No club has scored more than five first-half goals in a single Isuzu UTE A-League game – and the home side equalled the all-time record in Wanderland, with both Nicolas Milanovic and Lachlan Brook bagging two apiece in a scintillating opening 45 minutes.

The 5-0 advantage was the biggest taken to half-time in any game in Isuzu UTE A-League history.

Marcelo added the fifth in a first-half rout, in which the visitors were all at sea and off the pace from beginning to end. Western managed to stem the bleeding in the second half as the score remained at 5-0 in Western Sydney’s favour until full-time.

The goalscoring action began with Brook’s first A-Leagues goal for the Wanderers. The former Adelaide United forward found the top corner with a long-range strike which keeper Thomas Heward-Belle had no chance of saving as it whipped into the back of the net.

It took just six minutes for Brook to find his first league goal for the Wanderers on his starting debut – and soon after, the 22-year-old had a second. Brook gathered the loose ball after Angus Thurgate’s attempted intervention, poked the ball through the legs of Jacob Tratt and tucked the ball into the bottom-left corner with the help of a deflection off Tomoki Imai.

Milanovic made it 3-0 in the 34th minute with a header which Western keeper Heward-Belle failed to repel, despite getting his left glove to the glancing effort off a well-placed Jack Clisby cross.

Clisby was given time and space on the left wing to take possession in the final third, look up, find his target and deliver.

Five minutes later it went from bad to worse for Western as Marcelo was allowed to rise unchallenged to meet a Jorrit Hendrix corner to score Western Sydney’s fourth. The towering leap from the Wanderers captain exposed a collective lack of effort from the visitors to contain the home side’s threat from the set piece.

Hendrix had taken corner duties off Josh Brillante in the first half, and after supplying the assist to Marcelo, he showed his class once again with a swinging delivery to the front post on the cusp of half-time which Brandon Borrello headed onward to the back post for Milanovic to tuck home from close range.

A total of 48 first-half minutes had elapsed, and the Wanderers had five – the most of any team in any first-half in Isuzu UTE A-League history.

Neither side would add to the scoresheet in the second stanza as United dug deep to stem the bleeding, as the Wanderers wrapped up a 5-0 win at CommBank Stadium, confirming their second clean sheet in as many games to start the season.