Wanderers stun Roar to get first win
Mark Bridge celebrates scoring the Wanderers first ever A-League goal. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Striker Mark Bridge headed home Western Sydney’s first goal as the rookie A-League club secured a maiden win in a massive 1-0 upset of defending champions Brisbane on Saturday night.
After missing a sitter in last weekend’s 1-0 derby loss to Sydney FC, Bridge nodded in the drought-breaker 18 minutes into the first half, leaving Brisbane and the home fans shellshocked.
Brisbane’s defence gave Bridge far too much space to move after Dutch import Youssouf Hersi delivered him a perfect ball off a short corner kick from star Japanese import Shinji Ono.
It ended 288 minutes of anxiety for for the Wanderers, who failed to score in their opening three games, though Bridge may have been lucky to grab his place in club history.
It could easily have gone to 22-year-old midfielder Aaron Mooy, whose fourth minute speculator rebounded off the right post into the left post as a powerless Roar `keeper Michael Theo looked on.
Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic said before the game he was hoping for a “lucky goal” to put Brisbane under pressure.
Mooy almost provided it.
The coach had to wait another 14 minutes but there was nothing lucky about Bridge’s goal and Western Sydney grew in confidence.
They made Brisbane look average in the first half with eight corners to nil.
The magnitude of the upset can be measured by Brisbane’s fabulous Suncorp Stadium record, having lost just three of their previous 34 home games.
The visitors continually upset Brisbane’s rhythm.
Popovic’s defensive structure closed down the Roar in the middle of the pitch where they are usually very dangerous.
Hersi tormented Brisbane’s defenders all night, taking the sting out of the crowd, who expected most of the action would be directed at Wanderers `keeper Ante Covic who was rarely tested.
Covic had heated words with Brisbane’s Jack Hingert, who he claimed had clipped him in the head with his boot searching for the equaliser.© AAP 2013