The Western Sydney Wanderers Foxtel NYL team are back in striking distance of first place after a 3-1 win over FFA Centre of Excellence at Blacktown International Sportspark.A goal by Mario Shabow and a double from Daniel Alessi set the tone in an impressive first half for the Red & Black that sees them within two points of leaders Sydney FC. Fresh from his Hyundai A-League debut last week, Shabow wasted no time in opening the scoring as he emphatically thumped the ball into the net from close range in just the third minute.
It was exquisite play from Lachlan Roberts and Josh Macdonald that gave Shabow the opportunity of a tap-in and the young midfielder made no mistake.
The first half was all Wanderers and soon enough the home team doubled their lead when Alessi was the benefactor of a short corner.
Alusine Fofanah whipped in the ball for a diving Alessi to head in at the far post.
Only a few minutes later and the match was effectively over as Alessi grabbed his second goal in almost a carbon copy of his first.
Another short corner – this time from the opposite side – drifted into the box where the centre back fiercely headed the ball into goal.
The second half was less of a spectacle but the Wanderers made it hard for themselves when Josh Gaspari was sent off for two yellow cards only four minutes after coming on as a substitute.
FFA took advantage with a goal in the late stages of the game but it mattered little as the Wanderers claimed the win and now look to mount a seize on first place.
The match also marked the return from injury of Shayne D’Cunha. The Indian-born Young Socceroo had not played since Round 27 of last season’s Hyundai A-League.
Next week the Wanderers travel to Central Coast to take on the Mariners. Kick-off 4pm Sunday at Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence.