The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers ended their pre-season trip to Japan with a 3-0 win against J2 League side JEF United at the Japanese club’s training base on Monday afternoon.
First-half goals to Kerem Bulut and Mitch Nichols and a second-half strike from Steven Lustica sealed what was a commanding performance from the Red & Black, and ensures they leave Japan with two wins from two following Thursday’s 3-1 victory against Kokushikan University SC.
Kerem Bulut was once again given the starting nod up front and after opening the scoring against Kokushikan, the number 9 repeated the feat just minutes into the match.
After pressuring a JEF United defender into passing back to his keeper, Bulut continued his run and charged down the keeper’s attempted clearance, the ball ricocheting off Bulut and into the empty net.
With the early advantage, the Wanderers began to boss the game, with Dimas and Piñatares commanding the midfield with their physicality and high-tempo passing.
After combining well in Thursday’s win, Mitch Nichols and Jumpei Kusukami were again driving forward with purpose, linking up well with the tireless Bulut in attack.
The Wanderers would soon be rewarded for their dominance, nabbing a second with an impressive counter-attacking move.
After winning the ball in midfield, Dimas pierced the ball in behind the defence into the path of a running Bulut, who played an inch-perfect first-time ball across the box to a waiting Mitch Nichols to tap home.
With Andrew Redmayne enjoying a particularly quiet afternoon, the Red & Black continued to pepper the Japanese side’s goal and could’ve well had a third if not for a number of last-ditch clearances.
At half-time, Tony Popovic again wrung the changes with marquee man Nicolás Martinez among them.
JEF United began to assert themselves into the game but it was the Wanderers who would find the net again.
Martinez and Shannon Cole combined well to move the ball into the box and after series of blocked shots, it was Steven Lustica who was on hand to slam the ball past the keeper.
It was a comfortable afternoon thereafter for the Wanderers, with the win capping off a very positive week in Tokyo.
JEF United 0
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Kerem Bulut 2’ Mitch Nichols 18’ Steven Lustica 60’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Andrew Redmayne (GK) (Jerrad Tyson), Scott Neville (Shannon Cole), Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Nikolai Topor-Stanley), Aritz Borda (Robert Cornthwaite), Jack Clisby (Brendan Hamill), Dimas (Jacob Melling), Bruno Piñatares (Kearyn Baccus), Mitch Nichols (Steven Lustica), Lawrence Hanna (Brenton Fox), Jumpei Kusukami (Nicolás Martinez (Emilio Martinez)), Kerem Bulut (Brendon Santalab)