NPL Wrap: Wanderers win season opener

The Western Sydney Wanderers have kicked off their 2019 NPL 2 campaign with a 2-1 victory over North Shore Mariners at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday night. 

Goals in each half from striker Mohamed Adam led the Wanderers to victory, while Mitchell Smith netted for North Shore. 

It was Adam who had the Wanderers first chance of the match, beating a defender inside the area before testing Mariners goalkeeper Ryan Wood.

This was followed by chances for Andrea Agamemnonos and Jacob Vasiliou, while at the other end Lochlan Constable made a wonderful covering tackle on Smith.

With half an hour played, Vasiliou had another effort, but his curling strike was tipped over the crossbar by Wood.

The North Shore outfit were proving to be a tough opponent with both Mohamed Al Taay and Mathieu Cordier forced into crucial blocks to stop dangerous counter attacks. 

Cordier


Then, on the stroke of halftime, the Red & Black took the lead.

Adam was the goalscorer, outrunning the defence before expertly lobbing the ball over Wood from just outside the penalty box.

However, the Wanderers didn't carry the momentum into the second half and the Mariners found an equaliser soon after the restart with Smith finished from close range. 

As the teams battled for control of the game, Marley Peterson had a couple of scoring opportunities and Wanderers goalkeeper Jack Greenwood made two excellent saves to keep the scores level.

Peterson


There was almost an unlikely goalscorer late on, as Wanderers defender Thomas Aquilina got on the end of Oliver Puflett’s cross, blasting the ball inches wide of the target.

Then with six minutes left in normal time, the Wanderers scored what would prove to be the winner.

Once again Adam used his pace to good effect, beating Wood to a through ball and calmly poking the ball into the bottom corner.

Despite a flurry of North Shore set pieces in stoppage time, the Red & Black hung on to grab the three points.

The dramatic win wrapped up what was a perfect day for the Wanderers Academy after victories in the U18s and U20s squads.

Next week, the Wanderers will travel north to face Central Coast Mariners at Pluim Park on Sunday 10 March. Kick-off is at 4:00pm. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Mohamed Adam 45’ 84’)
North Shore Mariners 1 (Mitchell Smith 46’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Jack Greenwood, Thomas Aquilina, Mohamed Al Taay, Noah Pagden, Mathieu Cordier, Lochlan Constable, Andrea Agamemnonos (c), Marley Peterson, Oliver Puflett (Jarrod Carluccio 89’), Jacob Vasiliou (Daniel Wilmering 86’), Mohamed Adam
Unused substitutes: Oliver Kalac, Adrian Valenti, Rory Jordan

Other results:
U20: WSW 3-1 North Shore
U18: WSW 4-1 North Shore