Wanderers maintain A-League top-six hopes
Posted on 04/25/20 7:44 PM
Oriol Riera has kept Western Sydney’s A-League top six hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Brisbane.Oriol Riera has scored a double for Western Sydney who have revived their A-League top-six hopes with a 3-0 win over a disappointing Brisbane.
The Wanderers weren’t affected by the absence of their boisterous supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc (RBB), at ANZ Stadium to surge past the Roar into sixth, with one game remaining before the finals.
Spaniard Riera ensured Saturday’s game was all but gone for the visitors within 15 minutes.
He opened his account in the fourth minute when he headed in an Alvaro Cejudo free kick.
The Roar’s sloppy defence was exposed again 11 minutes later when Marcelo Carrusca’s superb cross was headed towards goal by Riera.
A diving Jamie Young made a stunning save, but Riera jabbed the loose ball into the net.
The Roar, coming off a four-game unbeaten streak including three wins, were as disjointed in attack as they were suspect in defence, often breaking down when they reached the front third.
The Wanderers sit one point ahead of Brisbane with their eighth win, going into a final-round home clash with Adelaide, while the Roar travel to Perth.
Midfielder Chris Ikonomidis delighted the 9600 fans with the Wanderers’ third goal.
After Riera had an airswing at a reachable ball across goal, Raul Llorente sent it back in for Ikonomidis to head home.
The Wanderers continued their dominance in the second half, with Keanu Baccus coming close when his shot from well outside the box fizzed past the post.
Brisbane pushed hard in patches and Maccarone tapped in with nine minutes remaining.
But the goal was overturned, on VAR review, when it was ruled an off-side Brett Holman interfered with play.
Wanderers coach Josep Gombau said convincing losses to Melbourne Victory and City leading up to the match were never an indication his side were destined for the bottom four.
“We played similarly last week … (but) we missed chances,” Gombau said.
“This week, from the first three or four minutes, we’d already scored which gave us confidence. It was good for us.
“It’s not a big change.”
The Roar can still take back sixth spot due to their superior goal difference if they at least draw next week with the Glory. Perth are still in contention in eighth after Friday night’s win over second-placed Newcastle.
Roar coach John Aloisi blamed a slow start, as well as niggles to defenders Ivan Franjic and Daniel Bowles, for their poor performance.
“I wouldn’t say it because we were flat or anything like that,” Aloisi said.
“We got off to a bad start. It was a set piece. Then they got a lift and we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”
Whatever their fate, the Wanderers will be without the RBB for the rest of the season.
The group is boycotting remaining Wanderers matches due to an ongoing frosty relationship with the FFA.