Meier’s maiden goal a good sign for unbeaten Wanderers
It didn’t take long for the doubters and naysayers to get on the back of Western Sydney Wanderers marquee Alex Meier after his Hyundai A-League debut in Round 1.
Despite having just a couple of weeks training under his belt before playing against Central Coast Mariners last weekend, there was plenty of expectation on the former Bundesliga hitman.
Wanderers boss Markus Babbel called for patience in the lead-up to Friday night’s clash with Melbourne Victory, insisting it wouldn’t be long until fans started to see the best of the 36-year-old.
And Babbel’s words proved to be prophetic as Meier played a pivotal role in the Wanderers’ drought-breaking 2-1 win over Victory at Marvel Stadium.
While not all elements of the German’s game were perfect, it was his first Hyundai A-League goal and quality of the finish that will have the Wanderers faithful salivating.
Swooping on a fluffed clearance from Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas, it was going to take something special for Meier to dispatch the bouncing ball with a first-time strike into the net from 25 yards out.
But that’s exactly what he did, showing the type of composure and goal-scoring instinct that saw him dominate in the Bundesliga for many years.
“What a hard game but we did great as a team. A win was very important for us,” an exhausted Meier told Fox Sports after playing the full 90 minutes.
“For me and everyone it’s important…we have to get to know each other, get more fitness and get more used to how we play.
“It will take time. Yes, we’ve won two games but there will probably be some bad games in the future too.
"But if we keep fighting and working like this, we’ll be in a good way.”
Meier’s stunning goal came less than 10 minutes after the Wanderers took the lead from another outstanding strike from Keanu Baccus.
Set-up from excellent build-up play by youngsters Nick Sullivan and Mohamed Adam, Baccus hit a sweet curling shot from well outside the box which scorched into the top corner.
Both Baccus and Meier are an example of the excellent blend of youth and experience Babbel seems to have in his Wanderers squad right now.
“From day one he’s given the belief in me and all the young players,” Baccus said of the German coach.
“There’s a good mix with leaders and young players at the moment…it’s going to be a good year.
“We’ve got some momentum now. We’re defending a little bit better, last year we probably would have let that game slip.
“But we’re a bit stronger this year and we have to keep moving forward.”
And the next challenge for the Wanderers just happens to be a clash with champions Sydney FC in the season’s first Sydney Derby.