Western Sydney Wanderers have finally picked up their first point of the season, but it was only one point. It was a scoreless draw against Central Coast Mariners that gave them the point in their make-up match played at Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Central Coast Mariners started the match well looking dangerous, with Anthony Caceres, Nick Fitzgerald and Matt Sim looking lively for the Mariners. A counter in the fourth minute gave the Mariners a solid opportunity as Caceres sent in a through ball for Mitchell Duke who made a great run but got a shot away that was well saved by Ante Covic.
But Western Sydney responded well and had a chance just two minutes later after a nice run from Shannon Cole. That allowed him to set a ball in for Nikita Rukavytsya who was able to get a header away but it wasn’t powerful enough, allowing Mitch Neill to clear the ball.
After 10 minutes, Western Sydney really started to find some control and started creating chances more often. Seyi Adeleke was able to win possession and turn to find Rukavytsya who couldn’t control well enough, allowing Zac Anderson to clear.
The Mariners were passing the ball around well and at least somewhat threatening the Western Sydney defense but the Wanderers were seeming the most likely to find a goal. In the 23rd minute the Wanderers could well have hit the lead as Vitor Saba sent in a free-kick from 40-yards which saw Liam Reddy rush out but he lost the ball, thankfully for the mariners Josh Rose rushed back and cleared the ball off the line.
The Mariners had two chances around the half-hour mark, the first was a long ball from Reddy which looked to sit for Fitzgerald but Covic ran out well and cleared the danger. The next chance came just two minutes later as a foul on John Hutchinson set up a free-kick but the effort was poor as the kick was too low, bouncing off the wall.
The match became an end-to-end affair again in the final five minutes of the half as Saba sent a ball for Juric in the 40th minute allowing Juric to attempt to curl it in but Reddy saved well. Two minutes before time the Mariners had another chance as Duke sent in a ball for Caceres which found him perfectly but his volley attempt was poor, keeping it scoreless at the break.
The Mariners again started the half well to start the second and in the 52nd minute they had an opportunity as Caceres’ ball in was spilled by Covic, allowing Matt Sim the chane to shoot but Covic recovered well and saved. The Mariners continued and just two minutes later had a great opportunity as Duke’s cross perfectly found Fitzgerald whose chip was just off, sending it over the bar.
Things were really opening up in the early in the second half and Western Sydney had a chance as Iacopo La Rocca gained possession and took a shot from 30 yards out which was well saved by Liam Reddy. But Central Coast responded and had another effort when Duke headed down for John Hutchinson, only to be denied by Covic sliding in to the ball.
After a lull, Western Sydney had two solid chances in quick succession as a mishit volley from Nate Poljak fell to Mark Bridge but his shot was saved by Reddy. Just two minutes later a foul allowed Saba to step up and hit a powerful free-kick which was just off target.
Late in the match Western Sydney had two chances to win the match with two minutes to play a cross came in for Juric who leapt higher than Anderson but sent his effort wide. Juric should have had the winner as the match clicked in to stoppage time, when Romeo Castelen beat his defender and found Juric who was left with a simple finish but could only swing in the air, which kept the match scoreless but saw the Wanderers earn their first point of the year.