Wanderers Soar Over Jets And Into Second Place

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers rocketed into second position and became the first team this season to win five games in a row with an emphatic 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers rocketed into second position and became the first team this season to win five games in a row with an emphatic 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

The Wanderers- goals came from wingers Youssouf Hersi and Mark Bridge who terrorised the Jets defence all night and could have finished with two or three more each.

Newcastle had a handful of chances and fought until the end but the Wanderers dominated the match from the outset and continued their barnstorming form that looks certain to take them well into the finals.

Tony Popovic allowed himself to celebrate the win calling it a “very special day for this Club”.

“The table doesn-t lie,” Popovic said.

“We-ve now won five in a row and are second on merit.

“Twenty games in we are second and we deserve to be there.”

The Wanderers coach said the three points were crucial and the next few games would sort out the finishing order of the Hyundai A-League table.

“There are some big games coming up and things can change quite quickly,” Popovic said.

“And if it does change, we want it to change in a positive way for us.

“We have Melbourne Victory away, Perth at home and Central Coast away and it is a great time to be at this club and be a footballer.

“We have three games to look forward to and at the end of them we will definitely know how high we can finish.”

Popovic said the Club was thrilled with the 10,589-strong crowd for the Community Round match it took to Campbelltown Stadium.

“The crowd was fantastic coming out here for us and I think we might have won a few people over with that performance,” he said.

The first half was played mainly through the midfield with both teams managing to link some exciting passages of play together but were unable to make any opportunities stick in the final third.

The Wanderers looked to dominate and out muscle the Jets.

Strong challenges courtesy of Youssouf Hersi and Iacopo La Rocca in the early minutes signaled the Wanderers intentions.

The Jets had the first real opportunity in the 19th minute, when a Sam Gallaway pass set-up Emile Heskey for a shot at close range which was blocked and deflected over the cross bar by Nikoai Topor-Stanley.

In the 24th minute, Aaron Mooy slotted a pass through to Hersi at the top of the 18 yard box for the Wanderers- first real opportunity on goal, however Hersi wasn-t able to get the shot past Jet-s goal-keeper Mark Birighitti.

Only two minutes later, Mooy gave the Wanderers another opportunity to make a mark on the scoreboard, when he launched a long range shot from outside the box which rocketed into the side of the net.

In the 37th minute, the Wanderers were robbed of a certain goal by the outstretched heel of Birighitti, after Shinji Ono and Hersi were able to link up and get the ball to Mark Bridge in the middle of the box for the shot.

In the final seconds of the first half, a free kick from Ono on the flank found Hersi in the middle of the box.

The resulting shot was deflected by some desperate defence from Birighitti, but rebounded back into the corner of the goal to put the Wanderers on the scorecard 1-0.

Hersi-s third goal in two weeks sent the Wanderers into the sheds with something tangible to show for their solid attacking work throughout the first half.

The Wanderers came out looking to attack early in the second half, with Bridge and Hersi continuing to threaten the Jets goal with some long range chances.

The Wanderers were able to keep the pressure on at both ends of the pitch before the Jets defence finally cracked in the late stages of the game.

In the 83rd minute, Jerome Polenz played superb long range pass to Bridge, who was storming towards goal. After a strong run and one-on-one tousle with Josh Mitchell, Bridge broke free and put the ball in the back of the net for the Wanderers- second goal.

The goals take Hersi-s tally to five and Bridge to eight for the season.

The only Jets- goal came via a Ruben Zadkovich strike during injury time, which in the end was nothing more than a consolation prize for the Jets.