Western Sydney Wanderers have emerged victorious after a 2-1 win against Hills United in an action-packed 90 minutes in the NPL 2 first grade.
The match-up at Wanderers Football Park had everything - goals, a red card, and plenty of drama.
In the end, goals from Bilal Chahine and Ali Auglah on either side of a Hills strike were enough to take all three points.
The Red & Black were certainly slow starters with the Brumbies enjoying the bulk of possession and attacking opportunities early on.
It wasn’t until just past the half-hour mark that either side broke through, Chahine’s deceptively tricky shot bouncing past the goalkeeper and into the corner of the net.
It was an unexpected way for Chahine to open his account for the season but he and his teammates weren’t complaining as they took a hard-fought lead.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last until half-time with Hills forward Duncan Stewart making a smart run from a long throw-in and lobbing the ball into the far corner of the goal.
Whatever coach Patrick Zwaanswijk said at the break seemed to work with Western Sydney enjoying dominance over most of the second half.
They grabbed the second goal in the 50th minute with Auglah timing his run to perfection, leaving the backline standing still as they attempted an offside trap.
The striker made no mistake one-on-one with the keeper and the home side were back in front.
The Wanderers had several opportunities to add to their lead and seal the game but Hills refused to budge despite having Eoin Montford sent off for fouling Aiden Mostofi as the last defender.
The visitors threw the kitchen sink at Wanderers in the last 15 minutes but couldn’t find a way past Jack Warshawsky, who made several unbelievable saves to preserve the lead.
Dean Pelekanos also showed his defensive skills, heading the ball off the line in injury time.
A well-earned three points and back up to second on the NPL 2 ladder after temporarily being overtaken by Northern Tigers.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Chahine 33’, Auglah 50’)
Hills United 1 (Stewart 42’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Jack WARSHAWSKY (GK), 7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 12. Nectarios, Philip CANCAR, 21. Isaac HOVAR, 19. Bilal CHAHINE, 22. Dean PELEKANOS, 14. Alessandro LOPANE (24. Peter GROZOS), 23. Kosta GROZOS (16. George ANTONIS), 9. Ali AUGLAH, 10. Reuben AWARITEFE (13. Aiden MOSTOFI)
Unused subs: 18. Oliver KALAC (GK). Lochlan MACDONALD, 5. Jonathan MARAS