WESTERN Sydney Wanderers held off an early scare and second half charge from Melbourne City to book a spot in the FFA Cup semi-finals.
Two first half goals proved enough for the Wanderers to claim an away victory at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on Wednesday night.
An Oriol Riera near-post header, and a striker’s poach from Roly Bonevacia in the first-half won the all A-League encounter.
A 52nd minute rifle from City’s Riley McGree saw City make the scoresheet, but the hosts generated few scoring chances throughout the second half as Wanderers held firm.
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City would be left wondering what could have been if not for a morale-sapping penalty miss earlier in the game.
The referee pointed to the spot in the 12th minute after Wanderers fullback Josh Risdon handled the ball in the area. Star striker Bruno Fornaroli confidently stepped up to the plate, but he pulled his shot and saw the casual effort roll wide of the target.
Wanderers were eager to make their lifeline count, and 20 minutes later they were on the scoresheet courtesy of a well-worked corner.
The ball was whipped in by German midfielder Alexander Baumjohann who picked out Riera at the near post. The Spaniard showed expert control to deftly header the ball across City keeper Eugene Galekovic and into the back of the net.
Wanderers doubled its advantage in the 40th minute after a cheap turnover in midfield by Luke Brattan led to the visitors’ attack. A deflected shot spilt to Bonevacia who pounced on the ball near the penalty spot to ram home a real striker’s poach.
City came out strong in the early stages of the second half and made it count in the 52nd minute. The ball spilt from a corner to McGree who put his right-foot through the ball, smashing it into the top corner from the edge of the area.
But the scorers were not troubled further, and Wanderers charged on towards the semis.