The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have solidified their position in the top six with a commanding 3-1 win against Wellington Phoenix at Spotless Stadium on Sunday night.
A brace from Brendon Santalab and a goal from Nicolás Martinez sealed what was the Red & Black’s first win at Spotless Stadium this Hyundai A-League season and gives Tony Popovic’s side a five-point buffer over the seventh-placed Phoenix.
The Wanderers assumed control of the match from the opening whistle and could’ve taken the lead in the opening minutes had Jumpei Kusukami’s toe-poke not bounced off the post.
They wouldn’t have to wait long though as in the ninth minute marquee man Nicolás Martinez notched up his fourth goal of the season, slotting home from the edge of the box after some good work from Scott Neville.
The Wanderers continued to pepper the Phoenix defence, Brendon Santalab and Jack Clisby both going close to finding a second.
Five minutes out from half time, it was Santalab who would grab his first of the match, controlling a smart ball from Mitch Nichols, before feigning past a defender and firing through Glen Moss.
In the process, Santalab became the Wanderers’ highest ever goal scorer, surpassing Mark Bridge’s total of 32 goals across all competitions.
After the break, the Wanderers continued to dominate proceedings and found a third goal after just three minutes, Santalab heading Martinez’s looped cross into the net from close range.
Wellington did manage to pull one back through a Gui Finkler free-kick though the Wanderers marched on to record an invaluable three points.
The win wraps up a fantastic week for the Red & Black following Wednesday’s 3-2 win against FC Seoul in the Asian Champions League.
The Wanderers will now look to make it back-to-back home wins when they welcome Melbourne City to Spotless Stadium on Friday night.