Wanderers rise over Phoenix


The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have returned to the top six after defeating Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Yarrow Stadium on Saturday night.

A goal by Nicolas Martínez and a double from Brendon Santalab handed the Wanderers the three points in a contest they dominated from the outset.

The Red & Black began the game promisingly and could have went ahead early through Martínez but the number 10’s free-kick skimmed just over the crossbar. 

Nico Santa

The Wanderers soon had the ball in the back of the net though controversially it wouldn’t count.  

Martínez’s shot from just inside the box cannoned off the post, before Terry Antonis’ reflex effort was pushed away by Ian Moss into the path of Santalab who pounced to nod the ball home. 

The officials ruled Santalab was offside despite replays suggesting otherwise. 

The Wanderers wouldn’t be deterred though and would soon have their goal, as Martínez laid one on for Santalab who squeezed his effort past Moss to bag his 30th goal for Western Sydney.

The Red & Black doubled their lead soon after the restart, with Santalab turning provided for Martínez, cutting the ball back to the Argentine for an easy tap in.

Goal celebration

Antonis, in his starting debut for the Club, who was heavily involved in the final-third throughout the game, found some space in the box before cutting back to a waiting Santalab who slammed home emphatically to give his side a 3-0 advantage. 

The Phoenix pulled one back from the spot through Shane Smeltz after Kearyn Baccus was judged to have handled the ball in the box. 

The fightback was short-lived, as Smeltz was then given his marching orders after a second yellow card for a challenge on Jack Clisby. 

The result now sees the Wanderers jump to sixth place on the ladder ahead of next week’s return home to Spotless Stadium to take on the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.