Western Sydney livewire Youssouf Hersi scored twice and created another goal in a 4-2 thumping of free-falling Adelaide United in Sunday’s A-League match.
The third-placed Wanderers skipped three points clear of Adelaide, whose off-field pain returned no on-field gain at Hindmarsh Stadium.
After John Kosmina suddenly quit as coach last Monday, the Reds crashed to a third consecutive defeat in a listless display under interim coach Michael Valkanis.
Western Sydney’s trumpcard in their fourth win in a row was Ethiopia-born, Netherlands national Hersi, who banked a brace and created a goal for Mark Bridge, while Mateo Poljak also scored.
Reds striker Bruce Djite and Iain Ramsay netted in the second half to briefly appease a restless 9,686-strong Adelaide crowd.
Hersi’s attacking flair dominated the fixture and he opened scoring after a goal mouth scramble in the 43rd minute.
Hersi’s teammate Aaron Mooy had two rapid-fire scoring attempts, the second going within centimetres of scoring only for Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic to flick the ball from the goal line.
But Galekovic’s save dribbled into Hersi’s path and he duly converted with a neat right-footer.
Just a minute later Hersi, approaching the by-line, hooked a pass to Bridge who was inexplicably left alone on the penalty spot and rifled in the Wanderers’ second.
Bridge returned the favour in the 52nd minute when he pinpointed a cross to Hersi, who netted his second goal with a header from one metre out.
Djite temporarily raised the home side’s spirits in the 61st minute when he scored from a sweet 15 metre launch.
But Poljak goaled from close-range some seven minutes later for the Wanderers, before Adelaide’s Ramsay curled in a low left-footer for a consolation score in the 87th minute.