No Hyundai A-League team had ever won nine straight games in a single season until tonight’s historic performance by the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers.
No Hyundai A-League team had ever won nine straight games in a single season until tonight-s historic performance by the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers.
The record-breaking win continues the incredible story that is the Wanderers- debut season.
Not content on setting a new benchmark in winning, the new boys in the league guaranteed themselves a home semi-final with a hard-fought and ruthless win over a Wellington Phoenix outfit that was not going to die wondering.
The 2-1 victory sees the Wanderers sitting convincingly at the top of the table with a five-point lead with three games to go.
Most importantly they have the momentum that only a side who has strung nine wins together can gather and that will be a major advantage heading into the finals.
They also again proved that winning was becoming a habit even if they were not quite on their game.
Coach Tony Popovic admitted it was a difficult night on a poor pitch but said he was delighted with the result.
“It-s difficult to see that anywhere around the world,” he said.
“You can go on unbeaten runs but to win nine in a row is quite special.”
“Like everything at this club, at the end of the year we will reflect on what a great milestone this is,” he said.
“There have been many this year.”
Tonight-s victory in front of an impressive crowd of 15, 809 has shown the Wanderers are strong contenders for the Premiers Plate after rivals Central Coast crashed against Sydney FC on Saturday.
It was no easy victory though with Wellington putting up a tremendous effort, keeping the Wanderers players and fans on their toes until the very last minute.
“We had to grind it out at times and they did quite well,” Popovic said.
“We expected a tough game and it was really tough.
“We-ve said all along if our performances were good that the results would come.
“But certainly the job-s not done.”
The Wanderers took the lead in the 7th minute when Shinji Ono slotted the ball past goalkeeper Glen Moss after a foul from Wellington-s Tony Lochhead inside the box led to a penalty.
Wellington evened the score with a goal in the 22nd minute.
Striker Jeremy Brockie took advantage of a cross from the left side as he ran in from the right, sliding it pass Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic.
The Wanderers soon charged right back with an attack led by Labinot Haliti but his shot bounced across the goal as Moss came out to defend.
Phoenix kept the Wanderers players on the defence with a few solid shots on goal, including a neatly placed header by the guest-s Ben Sigmund off a corner in the 37th minute which fell just short and was picked up by Wanderers defence.
The second goal of the night for Western Sydney came three minutes into the second half after Wellington-s Vince Lia interrupted an offensive play with a handball inside the box.
Striker Mark Bridge wasted no time firing the ball straight in high on the right off the penalty, making the score 2-1.
The second half continued with some fantastic plays and shots on goal by both teams and forcing both goalkeepers to work hard.
Before tonight, the longest winning streak in the competition-s history was held by Melbourne Victory in late 2006.
The Wanderers will play in the third installment of Sydney-s football derby at Parramatta stadium against Sydney FC on March 23rd. The match will kickoff at 7.45pm.