Live: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory

Western Sydney Wanderers will attempt to stop the rot against a dangerous Perth Glory side at Parramatta Stadium.

Welcome to Parramatta's Pirtek Stadium and tonight's vital A-League clash between the Wanderers and Glory. It's a perfect night for football - around 23 degrees - the deck looks smart and the Red and Black Bloc are in fine voice already. Despite their protestations, the Wanderers are in something of a slump, having lost three of their last four, but they still hold third possie on the ladder. Some fans are calling them the Rotators these days, what with coach Popovic changing line-ups every week - and he's come under a lot of pressure from unhappy supporters. Tonight, Michael Beauchamp is captain, and Brendan Santalab is back up front, with excitement machine Tomi Juric out suspended. The Glory, meanwhile, have played well in recent weeks under new coach Ken Lowe, and last week's 0-0 draw with the Roar was a gutsy effort. Marquee signing William Gallas will start tonight - so expect some classy moves from the ex-Gooner. Close to a full house yet again. Stand by for the start... after the national anthem, of course. This will be a cracker.

4th minute

Wanderers kick-off. Youssouf Hersi will be key to the Wanderers' chances tonight. The flying Ethiopian-Dutchman will create problems for Glory if he gets the ball. So far he hasn't had a touch. The game has been played solely in the left half of the field as both sides suss each other out.

WSW 0 PG 0

7th minute

Chris Harold has the first shot of the match - from 5m outside the box - and it dribbles shyly past the righthand post. Covic takes the goalkick.

9th minute:

Wanderers' first chance. Neat little interplay between Ono and Hersi gave Bridge an opportunity from 12m out which he snapped over the bar via the keeper's mitt. Close. From the ensuing corner, Vukovic was forced to make two reflex saves at close range. Wanderers look very eager.

WSW 0 PG 0

12th minute:

There must be a few hundred Glory fans here tonight - and they deserve some sort of loyalty medal for travelling the breadth of the continent to get to Parramatta. Well done, guys. Shane Smeltz, despite sporting the beginnings of what looks like becoming a filthy mullet, is looking very sharp up front tonight.

WSW 0 PG 0

15th minute:

The Wanderers haven't scored from their last 106 corners - but Ono's corners tonight are swirling in with real venom, creating difficulties in the air for the Glory central defence. Willam Gallas has just pulled himself off. He hasn't been subbed. I'll keep you posted as the Glory carry on with 10 men.

WSW 0 PG 0

18th minute:

The speculation is that Gallas lost a contact lens - anyway he's back on the paddock. And there's a lovely move from the Wanderers. Ono flicked the ball back for Hersi just outside the 18s, and the Dutchman swivelled his way into empty real estate only to sky the shot over the woodwork. Great move, average finish.

WSW 0 PG 0

23rd minute

Hersi is one of my favourite A-Leaguers, and one of his weaving runs across the turf has Burns hacking him down like the protagonist from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

WSW 0 PG 0

28th minute

Goal. A mistake from Shane Smeltz on the halfway line gave possession to Mooy, who sprinted down the left flank and released the ball inside to Bridge. He nudged it on to the unmarked Santalab to tap in from 5m. Too easy. Great transition from defence to attack. Poppa lets out a cheer. Ken Lowe looks shattered.

WSW 1 PG 0

31st minute:

Goal! Aaron Mooy's free-kick from 35m takes a deflection and wafts into the back of the net past a despairing Vukovic. That was kinda lucky, but the Red and Black Bloc aren't complaining.

So why are the Wanderers on top so far? Ono and Hersi are feeding off each other very smartly. Spiranovic is distributing the ball with extra cool and class from the back and Santalab is thriving up front. That's why. Um, and the Glory have looked a bit shaky at the back.

40th minute:

The Glory hadn't conceded a goal for a few weeks, so two in five minutes will have dented their confidence big time. And there's Gallas miskicking the ball into the stands. He doesn't look particularly comfortable with either Bridge or Hersi.

WSW 2 PG 0

After 45 minutes, the Wanderers are cruising. Thanks to Shinji Ono and Youssouf Hersi, they're dominating the midfield and conjuring real opportunities in front of goal for Bridge and Santalab. The Glory have lacked penetration in the final third, and their defence hasn't looked composed. Coach Kenny Lowe will be hoping his charges can stiffen up at the back and compete more enthusiastically in the middle of the park, while Poppa will be telling his players to keep their feet on the gas - after all, it's not uncommon for a team to surrender a 2-goal halftime lead. Time for a beverage. Check you in five for what should be a compelling second half.

Before I forget, well done to Michael Beauchamp for winning the Parramatta Lord Mayor's Sportsperson of the Year Australia Day award today. He hasn't had the easiest of seasons, but he's dealt with the disappointment of being dropped with great dignity. Well done, Mick.

47th minute:

Yellow card. A counter attacking Mark Bridge chopped to the floor by Josh Risdon. Not pretty. From the ensuing play, Mooy's nicely flighted cross is glanced wide of the far post off Bridge's noggin. Nice move. Wanderers looking good.

WSW 2 PG 0

50th minute:

The Wanderers have oodles of time in defence, effortlessly knocking the ball about between each other. Where's the Glory enthusiasm?Interesting and slightly off-putting stat for Glory fans: They haven't won in Sydney since December 2008.

WSW 2 PG 0

54th minute:

Goal! Wow! A lovely ball from Harold streaking down the right flank found the path of a galloping Shane Smeltz, who scored from 10m. That really was a special ball from Harold on the run. Forget my last post, the Glory are officially back.

WSW 2 PG 1

57th minute:

Shannon Cole scores a yellow present from the ref for a studs-up challenge. The Glory are enjoying a period of domination.

WSW 2 PG 1

60th minute

Serbian international Nebo Marinkovic is on for Cameron Edwards. He will add further spark to the Glory attacking forays.

WSW 2 PG 1

65th minute:

The Wanderers haven't given up. Hell no. A Spiranovic cross sailed past Vukovic's hands and cannoned into Gallas only for the rebound to fall into Vuckovic's grateful hands. That had comedy of errors written all over it.

WSW 2 PG 1

I'm noticing the Glory are getting first to the ball now, and Marinkovic, in particular, is scrapping for everything.

67th minute:

Penalty. Goal! From my vantage point the penalty looked a soft decision. Shannon Cole was lurching forward in the box, split two defenders, and fell to the ground. Not much contact if any. Anyway, Mark Bridge slotted home from 12 yards - despite the outstretched hand of Danny Vukovic, who guessed the right way.

WSW 3 PG 1

72nd minute:

As Australia Day fireworks drone on in the background, Santalab is replaced by Haliti - the Wanderers' first substitution. Lowe gets in on the act too, calling off Gallas, who has looked better as the game has worn on, for Glisby.

WSW 3 PG 1

77th minute:

The Wanderers fans are doing their version of the bouncy-bouncy - they sense three points is theirs as Minniecon comes on for Hersi, who has been a bit quiet in the second half.

WSW 3 PG 1

81st minute:

Chris Harold has battled hard for the Glory tonight - his cross for the Smeltz goal was sublime, but he looks tired now. And there's a delightful cross from Marinkovic  - alas Smetlz was off beam and couldn't do anything with the ball when it came his way. Quality ball from the Serb.

WSW 3 PG 1

88th minute:

Matt Spiranovic has been very solid in the defensive midfield position for the Wanderers. There he goes again, foiling a Harold run down the wing.

WSW 3 PG 1

The Wanderers are back on the winners' list thanks chiefly to a stirring first-half display, which saw them lead two-blot at the break. In the second stanza, first half heroes Ono and Hersi were a little subdued as the Glory clawed their way back. Alas, for them, a somewhat soft penalty cancelled out their nifty Smeltz goal earlier on and the game dribbled to its inevitable outcome. That said, new signing Marinkovic was spunky in midfield when he came on for the purple and gold, and coach Lowe will feel his team came back strongly after a limp and disorganised first half. Tony Popovic wouldn't be happy with his side's second stanza but he'll be glad they toughed it out till the end for three vital points. Matty Spiranovic held the red and black together in the second half, but Aaron Mooy was also impressive, with penetrating runs from midfield that kept the Glory defence honest. All up, an important win for the Wanderers, one that keeps them in touch with the rampaging Roar.

WSW 3 PG 1

The story Live: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop