Wanderers bounce back against Perth

After three consecutive heavy defeats, Western Sydney Wanderers bounced back into form with a 2-1 road win over Perth Glory at HBF Park on Saturday night.

The Wanderers travelled to Perth off the back of a 7-0 defeat to Melbourne City in midweek and head coach Marko Rudan saw an instant response from his side as Brandon Borrello put the visitors on top with his first goal of the season.

The Wanderers took the lead just 10 minutes into the contest after a bright start in Perth when Sonny Kittel swung his corner toward the front post for Borrello to nod home.

Oli Sail put two gloves on the ball but watched it sneak through his grasp in a disappointing moment for the Glory keeper.

Glory created a pair of good chances to equalise with the first wasted by Adam Taggart and the second thwarted by an excellent Lawrence Thomas save.

Giordano Colli created the initial opportunity. Having won possession high up the park he fed Taggart in the box but the Socceroo’s first touch was lacking, and allowed the Wanderers defence to swarm and stifle the space to shoot.

Mustafa Amini then set Daniel Bennie darting in on goal with a magnificent through ball and the teenager teed up a shot for David Williams on the edge of the box, pushed out for a corner by Thomas with a diving save.

Sail atoned for his early mishap when he denied Marcus Antonsson and the Wanderers failed to take advantage of the promising situation that followed.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 16: Marcus Antonsson of the Wanderers controls the ball against Kaelan Majekodunmi of the Glory during the A-League Men round 21 match between Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers at HBF Park, on March 16, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

On the cusp of half-time, Taggart found Perth’s leveller. A loose pass from Thomas out from the back invited the striker to steal the ball from Jorrit Hendrix and after hitting the deck in the challenge, Taggart quickly got to his feet to meet Colli’s delivery and finish at the penalty spot.

Williams had the chance to put Glory into the lead shortly before the hour mark when an inviting delivery from Josh Rawlins let to his diving effort inside the six-yard box. Williams failed to make proper connection in between Wanderers bodies and Thomas made the save.

The Williams chance sparked Glory’s now-trademark late push and if not for a series of committed blocks from Wanderers defenders the hosts would have hit the front with 20 minutes to play.

Thomas made a save to deny Daniel Bennie a maiden A-Leagues goal and although Taggart pounced on the spillage, Hendrix and Tom Beadling combined to block the shot away. Glory continued to attack and half-time substitute Jayden Gorman was found all alone to fire on goal but Aidan Simmons stood tall to repel the rasping effort off target.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 16: John Koutroumbis of the Glory heads the ball during the A-League Men round 21 match between Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers at HBF Park, on March 16, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Kittel had a rare sight on goal for the Wanderers after a barrage of Glory pressure, collecting the ball on the edge of the area and whipping an attempt just past the post.

The action was end-to-end and Gorman found himself with yet another big chance to put the hosts ahead when Bennie slid a backheeled pass into space in the box, but the substitute dragged his shot wide of the bottom corner.

Riley Warland had a free-kick from the edge of the area saved by Thomas as the game entered its final 10 minutes with the teams still locked at 1-1.

After withstanding a sustained period of pressure, the visitors had the ball in the back of the net when substitute Lachlan Brook tucked home on the rebound from Sail’s save in a one-on-one with Antonsson.

The offside flag originally denied the Wanderers but a VAR check reversed the decision; Antonsson was onside when Marcelo flicked Oscar Priestman’s header into his path, and Brook was behind the Swedish striker before the shot fell into his path.