Reds fall to Wanderers

Adelaide United have suffered a 4-2 defeat in a helter-skelter affair against Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.

Pirmin Schwegler had the Wanderers ahead inside five minutes via a fortuitous deflection before goals from Riley McGree and Ben Halloran put the Reds in front.

Nicolai Muller made it 2-2 on 25 minutes before Mitch Duke bagged a brace before half-time.

Simon Cox then added a fifth for the hosts in the 73rd minute to put the result beyond doubt.

There was only one change made to the starting XI by Gertjan Verbeek with Michael Marrone returning from injury to replace Stefan Mauk. Ryan Kitto also returned to the bench after recovering from a quad issue. Kusini Yengi also made his Reds debut off the bench during the second stanza.

It was a sluggish start from Adelaide and they fell behind on five minutes when Swiss midfielder, Schwegler, saw a free-kick deflect past Paul Izzo.

The Wanderers continued to apply the pressure as Keanu Baccus hit the post before Bruce Kamau forced Izzo into a low stop.

But against the run of play, the Reds levelled proceedings after a penalty was awarded when Halloran was fouled and McGree confidently dispatched his effort.

Halloran then bagged his 10th goal in all competitions with a sumptuous strike from just outside the 18-yard box.

But within an instant Western Sydney responded with two goals in as many minutes; first through a Muller tap-in from close range and then Duke unleashed an impressive goal on the turn.

He then completed his double before the break with a header after his run was not tracked.  

Verbeek brought on Kitto at the interval and also introduced Yengi and Mohamed Toure in the second-half as he looked for a spark.

The Reds mustered a couple of decent chances though without success. Blackwood came close to pulling a goal back but his attempt deflected past the post from six yards out.

Cox then breached United’s goal to score the Wanderers’ fifth in what was a frustrating evening, compounded by several defensive lapses.

Adelaide will look to bounce back against Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium next weekend.

Key moments:

5’ | GOAL: Schwegler’s free-kick takes a deflection and leaves Izzo helpless.

13’ | GOAL! McGree makes no mistake from the penalty after Halloran was clipped late by Georgievski.

Riley McGree converts the penalty for his ninth league goal of the season.

22’ | GOAL! Halloran turns and fires a beautiful finish from the edge of the box.

Ben Halloran gets his seventh league goal of the campaign with a sensational effort.

25’ | GOAL: Kamau gets down the right and his cross is saved by Izzo and ricochets off Jakobsen and into the path of Muller for an easy tap-in.

27’ | GOAL: Cox chips the ball over for Duke and his half volley arrows across Izzo into the far corner.

38’ | GOAL: Duke ghosts in at the back post and heads in Schwegler’s diagonal cross.

73’ | GOAL: Cox puts the game to bed at the second time of asking.

Match details:

Friday, 21 February 2020
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season – Round 20
Western Sydney Wanderers 5 (Schwegler 5’ Muller 25’ Duke 27’ 38’ Cox 73’)
Adelaide United 2 (McGree (p) 13’ Halloran 22’)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Attendance: 9,231