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24 Jan 2018 14:34
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Soccer

    Wanderers win eases pressure on Gombau

    Spaniard Oriol Riera scored one goal and set up another to give Western Sydney Wanderers a 2-1 A-League home win over fading Melbourne City.


    Spanish striker Oriol Riera ended his goal drought and took some pressure off compatriot Josep Gombau with a starring role in Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-1 home win over fading Melbourne City.

    Riera scored the equaliser and set up the winner for Mark Bridge in a match-tilting two-minute period in the first half of Monday's A-League game at ANZ Stadium.

    It was a first home win and just a second victory in seven games at the helm for Wanderers coach Gombau.

    The win lifted Wanderers two places to seventh, but it was a third straight loss for fourth-placed City.

    The visitors had plenty of second half possession, but created few clear cut chances.

    Wanderers suffered an early setback when their influential Spanish playmaker Alvaro Cejudo limped out of the game in the ninth minute.

    Most of the drama came in the last 20 minutes of the first half.

    Returning striker Ross McCormack finished well at the far post from a Nathaniel Atkinson cross to notch his eighth of the season and give City a 25th-minute lead.

    The goal sparked the Wanderers into greater urgency with Cejudo's replacement Jumpei Kusukami hitting the outside of a post.

    Riera levelled in the 30th minute when he controlled a deflected cross from fullback and compatriot Raul Llorente and turned and drilled a fierce shot past City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.

    It was Riera's fifth goal of the season but the first in seven games for the Wanderers' leading scorer.

    He turned provider two minutes later when he shrugged off a couple of tackles and his astute pass was finished with aplomb by Mark Bridge.

    City missed a glorious chance to level the game in the 39th minute, when McCormack missed his first penalty in four attempts for the club.

    Gombau was happy with his team's performance and hailed the way they responded to adversity.

    "Today I think we showed character because it's not just that we've lost lost a player after 10 minutes," Gombau said.

    "Of course last week was very tough for us with the big (4-0) loss away to Newcastle, but we start the year in a good way."

    City coach Warren Joyce was adamant confidence wasn't an issue for his side but was clear about what had cost them.

    "Decision making was poor and the actual finishing was poor as well," Joyce said.

    "You take the lead in a game and I couldn't really see them causing us a great deal of problems, but we've gifted two goals away after going 1-0 up, which is bitterly disappointing."

    McCormack was replaced with 20 minutes to go and looked to be limping as he went down the tunnel at the end and Joyce said his condition would be monitored.


    NZN




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