Troisi stars as Wanderers batter Western United 5-0 at Bankwest Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers reignited its push for a Finals Series spot with a momentum-building 5-0 win over Western United at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.
Wanderers midfielder James Troisis played his part in four of his side's five goals as the Red and Black sliced United apart with two first-half strikes and a further three in the second 45.
Troisi got the ball rolling with a wicked left-footed strike which beat United 'keeper Ryan Scott on its way into the top-left corner in the 19th minute, before defender Ziggy Gordon made it 2-0 before half-time, arriving at the front post to send a Troisi corner off the deck and over Scott to find the back of the net.
Bruce Kamau got amongst the goals after the break, scoring with ease after being left all alone in the box to brush Troisi's cross off the left flank home. Soon after the Wanderers made it four, after United substitute Dylan Pierias sent a venomous Troisi ball off the left flank into his own net.
The home side played with style and tenacity, adding a clinical touch to finish the bulk of its genuine chances. With the final result well and truly put to bed, Bernie Ibini emerged off the bench to score his side's fifth heading into added time to cap off the impressive win in Wanderland.
The result sends Western Sydney back into the top six, with just one point separating Carl Robinson's side from Sydney FC in second spot on the A-League table.
Western Sydney side dominated the first half from start to finish to take a two-goal lead into the break.
Kamau instigated the danger on 10 minutes with a threatening shot off the right flank which curled just wide of the top-left corner of goal.
A desperate diving header from Gordon denied Connor Pain a goalscoring chance as the Green and Black offered a threat down one end, before a strong Jordon Mutch strike off a Thomas Aquilina cut-back looked goal-bound before Tomislav Uskok put his body on the line to keep the attempt away from goal.
Troisi put the Wanderers ahead in the 19th minute after Victor Sánchez coughed up possession to Graham Dorrans in midfield. The turnover sent Troisi storming toward goal, who sent a strike off his left foot curling into the back of the net. Scott got across to save, but could only palm the ball further into the top corner.
Troisi looked to bag his brace just minutes later when he wrong-footed Aaron Calver in the box before shooting low to Scott's right, but the United gloveman did well to get low and keep the shot out with a strong right arm.
Mitch Duke fired a glaring opportunity off target after a spillage from a Wanderers corner, and a Dorrans free-kick left Scott in two minds before making a tipped save as the heat turned up on United's defence.
Aquilina was thwarted by the toe of Tomoki Imai after a lung-busting run down the left flank took him across the face of goal to shoot, but Gordon converted from the resulting corner when attacking Troisi's ball delivered to the front post.
The home crowd rose in celebration of the second goal of the night as their team took a commanding lead into the half-time break.
The Wanderers saw an opportunity to turn a 2-0 half-time lead into a statement victory by full-time, and with Troisi pulling the strings the home team overpowered United with a second-half showing of similar quality to the first.
Duke rattled a strike off the woodwork in the 50th minute, beating Scott at his near post from a slight angle but failing to direct the ball past the post, but before the hour mark Western Sydney had its third.
Aquilina started the move with a bright dribble off the left flank, cutting in before sending Troisi down the line with a back-heeled pass.
Troisi provided the assist off the left flank, rolling the ball into Kamau's path in the six-yard box. The Wanderers forward was stood all alone in a dangerous area, and Ivan Vujica kept him onside as Kamau applied the tidy finish.
Pierias emerged off the bench for Western United as Mark Rudan's side looked for a way back into the contest, but young player who usually offers so much offensive threat for his side was ultimately responsible for seeing the visitors go four goals behind.
The second-half substitute ventured back to defend as the dangerous Troisi embarked on another attacking foray down the left flank. Troisi set Kamau up to make it 3-0 with a neat ball rolled into the danger area but his next cross possessed far more power and pace; Pierias got back on the line to track the run of Kamau but got caught in an awkward position, allowing the ball to drop off his thigh into the back of the net.
With the final result assured and three points in the bag, the Wanderers set off in pursuit of a fifth goal which came through Ibini as the game ticked into added time.
Steven Ugarkovic was looking to highlight his Wanderers debut with a goal from long-range but the scuffed shot fell fortuitously into Ibini's path, who turned into space in the box to thump an emphatic strike into the roof of the net.
Perth Glory v Western United
Wednesday, May 12 2021
Kick-off: 9.20pm AEST
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday, May 16 2021
Kick-off: 9.15pm AEST
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