Wanderers Claim First Ever Home Win With Victory Over Heart


The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight registered their first victory on home turf with a 2-1 victory over the Melbourne Heart in front of 8,075 fans.

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight registered their first victory on home turf with a 2-1 victory over the Melbourne Heart in front of 8,075 fans.

Coach Tony Popovic was ecstatic about claiming the three points at home and said he was hoping the good run would continue.

“It-s pleasing, we got the three points and we played well,” Popovic said. “After dominating possession early it was good to get the opening goal and we held on well at the end.”

When asked about the amount of feeling in the match, Popovic was quick to praise his troops.

“They play for each other and it-s good to see.”

The Wanderers had just the two changes to the squad of 15 with Shannon Cole and Labinot Haliti on the substitute bench replacing Tarek Elrich and Kwabena Appiah-Kubi.

The early exchanges were full of passion and when German Jerome Polenz was brought down it looked to have been a foul but it was the next challenge from Shinji Ono that caused the most concern for referee Regis Quefflec. After some scuffle in the centre of the park Ono was shown a yellow card and the Heart received the free kick.

Just three minutes later the Wanderers were rewarded with a free kick in a commanding position 24m out from goal. With Aaron Mooy and Ono lining up to take it, it was Mooy who struck it but it sailed over the bar without causing Hear keeper Clint Bolton any concern.

It was in the 28th minute where the Wanderers capitalised and netted their opening goal of the evening.

After moving forward it was Mooy who received the ball 35m out and after carrying it 15m he put through a pin-point that whilst supposed to be for Ono, it was Joey Gibbs who got a boot to the ball and it proved to be a magic touch with Mark Bridge trailing through and striking the ball and pushing it past Bolton and putting the home side in front 1-nil.

That remained the highlight for the first half with the Wanderers happy to be going to the break with a 1-nil lead.

The second half saw no changes with the starting 11 back out on the pitch.

It took just six minutes before the Wanderers extended their lead, albeit through the assistance of the Heart. A Mooy pass sent Youssouf Hersi away down the right and into the clear. From there the Dutchman sent the ball into the penalty area and as Heart defender Patrick Gerhardt made his way back he got a boot to the ball and sent it past Bolton to put the Wanderers in front 2-nil.

With the Wanderers faithful celebrating it was the Heart who silenced them briefly when they clawed one back through Josip Tadic in the 58th minute. It was Aziz Behich who sent the ball in from the left and a quality volley from Tadic that went beyond an outstretched Ante Covic between the posts, making the score 2-1.

The 71st minute saw the first substitute made of the match with Melbourne Heart forward Jason Hoffman coming off and Dylan McAllister coming on. Just one minute later Ono was replaced by Labinot Haliti coming on.

The next five minutes saw the Wanderers dominate possession with some great movement forward but they were unable to convert any as the suspense in the crowd and on the pitch continued to mount heading into the final 10 minutes.

With three additional minutes added it was nail-biting stuff as both sides looked to control the possession. As the final whistle was blown the crowd erupted and the Wanderers were celebrating their first ever home win at Parramatta Stadium.

Wanderers 2 (Bridge 28-, Gerhardt OG 51-) def. Heart (Tadic 58-)

Crowd: 8,075