The Western Sydney Wanderers have again showed promising signs leading up to their first ever A-League game on October 6 by drawing 1 – 1 against the highly experienced Newcastle Jets last weekend.
Last Saturday’s encounter was the second time this pre-season the Wanderers faced opposition of A-League caliber as opposed to games against local Sydney clubs.
On this occasion they proved to many that despite being the league’s newcomers – they certainly won’t be the league’s easybeats when the season proper begins in a fortnight.
Speaking after the game, defender Adam D’Apuzzo said he was pleased with his side’s efforts against the Jets and believes things are ticking along nicely for Australia’s newest oldest club.
“We showed today that we can compete,” he said.
“The Jets probably got the jump on us in the first half but when we came out in the second half we were able to create some chances and we finished with a goal.”
D’Apuzzo, a former Jet himself, set up Western Sydney’s only goal in the match, saying he was keen to make up for his shaky start.
“I wanted to make up for some earlier mistakes,” he said.
“It was good to connect with the ball and Dino (Kresinger) did a good job getting his head on to it and put it in the back of the net.”
Newcastle got off to a brilliant start, only taking seven minutes to register the game’s first goal following some early attacking raids.
After an initial strike was blocked by Wanderers defender Michael Beauchamp, the deflection ended at the feet of Jets right fullback Scott Neville who settled and with the breeze behind him struck the ball from 30 metres out past goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson and into the back of the net.
The Wanderers also had a number of opportunities in the first half but could not put anything past Jets goalie Mark Brighitti. As both sides returned to the pitch for the second half, the Wanderers looked the hungrier of the two.
As the match entered the 61st minute the Wanderers were finally able to level the score through Croatian forward Dino Kresinger. The goal came after Wanderers keeper, Tyson, put the ball out to defender, D’Apuzzo, on the left, who was then able to carry the ball forward 15 metres before putting in a precise cross kick that Kresinger was able to get his head to sending it into the right hand corner to level the game at 1 – all.
The closing stages of the match proved to be very entertaining with both teams pushing forward and looking to claim the match winner but both defensive lines held strong and the scores remained level at the referee’s fulltime whistle.