Bonevacia reminds Wanderers of brilliant best in Coopers Stadium success
Roly Bonevacia set aside speculation surrounding his future to deliver one of his best performances for Western Sydney Wanderers in their 3-1 upset of Adelaide United on Saturday.
The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but, at Coopers Stadium, he looked a player free of any burden as he pulled the strings to glorious effect.
Wanderers, 2-0 winners over Central Coast Mariners a week earlier, headed to South Australia seeking to record back-to-back Hyundai A-League victories for the first time since February 2018.
In midfielder Bonevacia, they benefitted from a player capable of making a game-changing impact even amid Adelaide's unchallenged accrual of 70 per cent possession.
Yet it was via a set of circumstances seemingly not conducive to success that Western Sydney perhaps inadvertently unshackled the catalyst of their victory.
Markus Babbel's men were robbed of attackers Kwame Yeboah and Jaushua Sotirio due to injury, while playmaker Alexander Baumjohann was fit enough only to occupy a spot among the substitutes.
Their absences prompted the German to shift Bonevacia from the wing to the number 10 position, where his pace, positivity and ability to receive the ball and turn forward came to the fore.
The ex-Netherlands youth international began the match by whipping in an expert free-kick from which Oriol Riera was able to break a scoring duck dating back to Boxing Day.
Adelaide equalised before the interval but the second half, a time when most onlookers expected the home side to thrive, belonged to Bonevacia.
He restored Western Sydney's lead by gambling on a left-footed shot that deflected in off Ryan Strain and then, 19 minutes from time, assisted Abraham Majok in making the points safe, dinking a delightful pass through for the forward to coolly convert.
Bonevacia finished an inspiring outing as just the eighth Wanderers player to have been directly involved in three goals in a Hyundai A-League game, his masterful display a timely reminder of the unique talent the club have among their ranks.