Wanderers continue undefeated run against Glory

Western Sydney Wanderers have continued their unbeaten start to the Isuzu UTE A-League season, with full-back duo Jack Clisby and Tate Russell finding the net in a 2-0 victory over Perth Glory on Saturday evening.

Clisby opened the scoring against his former side with a lovely volley just after half-time, before Russell smashed home a second minutes after to wrap up the victory for the Wanderers at CommBank Stadium.

It was Russell’s first goal since returning from a torn ACL, which sidelined him for the entirety of last season, and his first in 588 days (last goal coming on April 2 2022).

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 11: Tate Russell of the Wanderers scores a goal during the A-League Men round four match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory at CommBank Stadium, on November 11, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Marko Rudan’s side have now taken home eight from a possible 12 points to start the season, taking their record to two wins and two draws heading into the men’s international break.

Glory – who were without star striker Adam Taggart due to injury – had their chances throughout the contest and put the Wanderers defence under duress on multiple occasions, but were made to pay for their lack of cutting edge.

It means Perth’s struggles on the road continue, having only won one of their last 24 league matches outside of Western Australia (drawn four, lost 19). They currently sit on one win, one draw and two losses to begin the season.

Glory started strongly and it was Bruce Kamau who came close to opening the scoring against his former side, flashing an effort just wide of the post. In the lead-up, Perth had a penalty shout when Daniel Bennie was brought down by Marcelo, but it was waived away by the referee.

Kamau’s evening ended prematurely, however, going down with a suspected hamstring injury and was replaced by the red-hot Stefan Colakovski.

The Wanderers started to build into the game as the first-half wore on, with Clisby trying his luck from range with a well-hit volley that flew just past the post.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 11: Jack Clisby of the Wanderers celebrates scoing a goal during the A-League Men round four match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory at CommBank Stadium, on November 11, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Colakovski’s impact back the other end was immediate and he came close to adding a third goal of the season, forcing a smart save from Lawrence Thomas.

His strike partner David Williams rattled the post with an effort minutes later, before Western Sydney went straight back down the other way and almost found the opener through Marcus Antonsson, who smashed the crossbar with a well-hit strike from the edge of the box.

But the Wanderers wouldn’t be denied again after the break as Josh Brillante fed a lofted pass to Clisby, who beat the challenge from his direct marker in Bennie and volleyed the ball past Cameron Cook at the near post.

Glory responded well and it was Williams who again found himself in space, but the 35-year-old could only turn Johnny Koutroumbis’ cross wide of the mark.

And Western Sydney made them pay, as Clisby’s cross was nodded to the back post by Darryl Lachman, and Russell was there to chest it down and slam it towards goal, which cannoned into teammate Brandon Borrello, who thankfully was standing behind the goal line, meaning the goal stood after a quick VAR check.

With time running out, both Colakovski and Bennie had chances to pull one back, but were unable to spark a late fightback, with the former denied by Thomas and the latter blasting over from close range.