ALM Match Report: Western Sydney Wanderers 5-0 Western United

Western United A-League Men

Western United suffered a convincing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 2 of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men on Saturday night.

The Wanderers broke the game open early and never looked back with Lachlan Brook and Nicolas Milanovic each scoring twice and Marcelo netting the other.

It was a night to forget for John Aloisi’s men who will quickly move forward and look ahead to another trip to New South Wales to take on Macarthur FC in Round 3.

Team News

Aloisi named an unchanged line-up from the season opener against Melbourne City, with the entire 18-man squad carrying over into this contest.

That meant new signings Daniel Penha, Angus Thurgate, Riku Danzaki and Tom Heward-Belle continued in the starting XI, with youngsters Kane Vidmar and Matthew Grimaldi featuring on the bench.

First Half

The match burst into life early on with a chance at both ends. Ben Garuccio’s cross was just taken off the head of Penha in the nick of time before Brook forced a good save from Heward-Belle at the other end.

But it was the Wanderers that exploded into the game with a quickfire double thanks to two strikes from winger Lachlan Brook.

The first was brilliant as he cut inside from the right wing and bent a brilliant left-footed effort into the far corner, while the second was a little closer to home and nestled into the bottom corner via a deflection off Tomoki Imai.

With the two goals coming virtually from nothing so early on, United remained calm and began to settle in possession, with a fine team move culminating in a Josh Risdon strike that stung Lawrence Thomas’ midriff.

Penha had a couple of half chances but couldn’t get the ball under control at the final moment as United looked slick in possession but exposed defensively.

Western Sydney were able to break through United’s press with relative ease and had willing runners in behind to turn the visitors’ defence around and get in on goal.

There was nearly a third and another spectacular strike when Jorrit Hendrix let fly from similar range to Brook’s opener, but this time the long-range effort rattled the post.

The home side seemed to have space everywhere they went in the final third and Milanovic made it 3-0 when he headed home from Jack Clisby’s cross just past the half hour mark.

The fourth came via another header, this time from captain Marcelo who leapt unguarded at a corner to thump the ball into the net.

Second Half

With the damage done there is a significantly lower pace to the game following the restart, but United continued to try to find some joy in the game.

In possession, the Green and Black showed flashes of quality with Ramy Najjarine impressing off the bench as a half-time substitute.

He and Penha came closest to finding a goal back for United and remained lively until the final whistle sounded.

There was a nice moment for 19-year-old defender Vidmar who played the final 10 minutes off the bench, making his senior professional debut. The son of former Socceroo Tony Vidmar made a couple of important interventions in his cameo to ensure no further harm to United’s goal.

In the end it was a tough night on the road for the Green and Black with plenty of learnings to take into the remainder of the season.