Western Sydney Wanderers finished the Foxtel National Youth League season on a high with a dominant 5-2 win over FFA Centre of Excellence in Canberra.A hat-trick to Josh Macdonald as well as strikes from Shannon Cole and Daniel Alessi made light work of a ten-man FFA outfit.
A fast-paced start quickly turned positive for the Red & Black as FFA’s Henry Davies was sent off in the 8th minute for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.
Shannon Cole, on his first start after returning from injury sweetly hit the resulting free-kick into the far corner for a 1-0 lead.
Despite being down to ten men, the FFA didn’t go down without a fight and in fact scored almost instantly off kick-off when Joshua Hope finished nicely.
It was a tough battle and there were chances to both sides but Daniel Alessi broke the deadlock for the Wanderers when he scored off a corner: his third goal against FFA this season.
Half time was looming and Wanderers were looking like the better side but a lapse in concentration allowed FFA to equalise bringing it to 2-2 at the break.
The second half was a different story with the Red & Black ramming home their one man advantage. As FFA tired, the Wanderers stepped-up a gear with Josh Macdonald and substitute Kyle Cimenti running wild.
After both Macdonald and Cimenti should have scored, it was the former that made the breakthrough in strange circumstances.
Macdonald slalomed through the defence but the last defender got a foot to the ball in the box. Unfortunately for the defender, his tackle ricocheted back off Macdonald’s shin, looping over the keeper and into goal.
The winger had his second just minutes later following great lead-up from Liam Youlley and Tariq Maia.
Receiving a line-breaking pass from Youlley, Maia did the same when he fed Macdonald in on goal to round the keeper for the simplest of finishes.
The victory was sealed when Macdonald tapped-in a perfect Cimenti cross for his hat-trick.
A strong performance for a 5-2 victory was a satisfying way to finish a positive season for the Wanderers’ NYL team.