An inspired Roly Bonevacia led Western Sydney Wanderers to a gritty 3-1 upset of Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
Having delivered the free-kick for Oriol Riera’s 12th-minute opener, star man Bonevacia returned to restore the visitors’ lead following Ryan Kitto’s equaliser and then supplied the pass for Abraham Majok to confirm Western Sydney’s first victory over the Reds in eight attempts in the Hyundai A-League.
Kitto had spared Craig Goodwin’s blushes following the Adelaide talisman’s failure to beat Vedran Janjetovic from the spot but their fightback fizzled out after the restart as the Reds missed a chance to extend their two-point gap to fifth-placed Melbourne City.
Western Sydney’s mission to build on last weekend’s defeat of Central Coast Mariners received an early boost when Riera stooped to head home Bonevacia’s free-kick.
The lead should have been erased in the 17th minute, but goalkeeper Janjetovic parried away Goodwin’s tame penalty following Brendan Hamill’s trip on Jordy Thomassen.
Adelaide increased their strong share of possession and territory after that setback and the reward for a dominant period arrived before the break, Kitto lashing in the loose ball after Janjetovic came to punch Michael Jakobsen’s lofted ball into the box.
Western Sydney’s shot-stopper exacted a measure of revenge by denying the goalscorer at close range soon after the interval.
And it proved an important intervention as, out of nothing, Bonevacia restored the visitors’ lead, his audacious left-footed effort taking a wicked deflection off Ryan Strain and wrong-footing Paul Izzo.
The influential Dutchman next delivered an inviting cross which Riera nodded over the bar, before notching his second assist of the match in the 71st minute.
Bonevacia lifted a clever pass into the path of Majok, who produced a sublime lob of the onrushing Izzo to put the seal on back-to-back Hyundai A-League wins for the Wanderers for the first time since February 2018.