The Western Sydney Wanderers snatched a dramatic 2-1 win on Saturday night in their NPL 2 clash against Spirit FC at Christie Park.
A 90th minute free kick from Kosta Grozos sealed the three points for the Red & Black after Grozos had earlier scored a spectacular goal from 50-yards out.
Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Axford had to be alert early on, diving to his right to save a shot from Kevin Lopes.
The Red & Black got into the game more as the first half went on with Abraham Majok getting close as he tried to chip Spirit FC goalkeeper Tomi Romic.
Majok was also involved in the team’s next chance, combining with Grozos on a counter-attack move that set up Lachlan Scott.
It wasn’t until the second half that the Wanderers took the lead after a moment of magic. After receiving the ball in space, Grozos spotted Romic off his line and chipped him from 50-yards out.
A few minutes later, Grozos had a chance to double the Red & Black’s lead, firing just over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
At the other end of the field, Tass Mourdoukoutas made an excellent tackle to stop Spirit FC winger Bright Appiah.
Unfortunately, Appiah wouldn’t be denied with over 15 minutes left, equalising for Spirit FC after curling the ball past Axford.
The decisive moment of the game came when Majok raced onto a through ball and tried to chip Romic, who parried the shot, only to be sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area.
From the resulting free kick, Grozos slammed the ball into the net, giving the Wanderers a 2-1 lead.
However, it wasn’t over, and Grozos was needed soon in defence winning the ball brilliantly on the edge of his own penalty area.
In the end, the Red & Black survived five minutes of stoppage time and recorded a vital win to move into the top six.
The dramatic win capped off another solid day for the Wanderers Academy with the U18 side smashing Spirit whilst the U20 team were held to a draw.
Next Sunday afternoon the Wanderers face Parramatta FC at Sydney United Sports Centre. Kickoff is at 3pm.
Spirit FC 1 (Bright Appiah 74’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Kosta Grozos 50’ 90’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel Axford, Tate Russell, Abdelrahman Kuku, Tass Mourdoukoutas, Adrian Valenti, Tacettin Kumsuz (Mohamed Adam 82’), Mark Tokich, Kosta Grozos (c), John Roberts (Samuel Silvera 46’), Abraham Majok, Lachlan Scott (Oliver Puflett 46’)
Unused substitutes: Gabriel Osinga, Lochlan Constable
U20: Spirit FC 1-1 WSW
U18: Spirit FC 0-7 WSW
U16: Manly 0-0 WSW
U15: Manly 0-4 WSW
U14: Manly 0-2 WSW
U13: Manly 0-6 WSW