NPL Wrap: Wanderers secure opening day victory over Mariners

Three goals in four first half minutes has paved the way for an opening day 3-1 win for the Western Sydney Wanderers NPL side over the Central Coast Mariners Academy at Pluim Park.

Two new signings got on the scoresheet, whilst 17-year old Marcus Younis scored a fabulous solo goal to help the Wanderers to a statement victory away from home.

Coach Andrew Christiansen would have wanted to mark the side’s return to the NPL – and his return to his former club – with a strong performance, and after a tight opening 10 minutes, the Wanderers blew their hosts away.

After some patient build-up play, Ariath Piol got himself onto the end of a great cross and produced a wonderful first time finish to beat the Mariners keeper and put the Wanderers ahead after 10 minutes.

And they doubled their lead just two minutes later; Piol charged down an attempted clearance from the Mariners keeper, and the ball fell to Teng Kuol, who calmly placed the ball into the net and celebrated wildly against his former club.

But the best was yet to come. Two minutes after that, Younis stole the show when he produced a rainbow flick to get past one defender, jinked past another and then had the composure to finish deftly into the bottom corner.

The hosts were shell shocked, but they began to work themselves into the game and pulled a goal back in the 28th minute through James Bayliss from a corner.

Both sides continued to have chances to end the half and also throughout the second half, but there was no repeat of the whirlwind first half, and the Wanderers were able to maintain their two goal lead until the final whistle.

The only downside was George Antonis going off injured midway through the second half, but aside from that, it was an almost perfect start to the season for the Wanderers. They have their first home match of the season next round against Blacktown City.