The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have continued their strong pre-season form with a 3–0 win over NPL side APIA Leichhardt at Marconi Stadium on Thursday night.
After a scoreless first half, second half goals to Mark Bridge, Álvaro Cejudo and Steven Lustica sealed a comfortable win for the Red & Black, putting them in good stead ahead of their Hyundai A-League season opener against Perth Glory on Sunday 8 October.
Tony Popovic opted for a strong starting 11, including an attacking quartet of Bridge, Cejudo, Roly Bonevacia and Oriol Riera, though it was APIA who had the first chance of the match with a shot that rebounded off Janjetovic’s post and away to safety.
Bonevacia was lively throughout the opening period, forcing a pair of decent saves out of APIA keeper Ivan Necevski.
Michael Thwaite had a firm header from a corner cleared off the line, as neither side could find an opener in the first half.
Following the break, Cejudo went close to finding an opener with a curling effort from the edge of the box but a diving Necevski was equal to it.
The Wanderers should’ve gone ahead shortly after as Bridge broke through on goal and squared it across to Brendon Santalab to finish, though the latter somehow couldn’t keep his shot under the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Bridge would open the scoring moments later, racing onto a delightful flick from Santalab before slipping the ball past Necevski.
It marked the beginning of the end for APIA, as Cejudo doubled the advantage seconds later, tucking home a loose ball in the box.
The Wanderers would add a third and final goal when Lustica finished from an acute angle after being put through by Jaushua Sotirio.
The Wanderers will now look to put the finishing touches on their pre-season preparations before kicking off the Hyundai A-League season against Perth Glory on Sunday 8 October at Spotless Stadium.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Bridge 64', Cejudo 65', Lustica 80')
APIA Leichhardt 0
Western Sydney Wanderers: Vedran Janjetovic (GK) (John Hall), Brendan Hamill (Josh Risdon), Robbie Cornthwaite (Jonathan Aspropotamitis), Michael Thwaite (Jordan Hall), Raúl Llorente (Jack Clisby), Kearyn Baccus (Steven Lustica), Chris Herd (Jacob Melling), Mark Bridge (Kristian Popovic), Roly Bonevacia (Jaushua Sotirio), Álvaro Cejudo (Jumpei Kusukami), Oriol Riera (Brendon Santalab)
Unused substitutes: Nick Suman (GK), Keanu Baccus, Lachlan Scott, Abraham Majok