Wanderers punish poor Heart
by Tomasz Ng
Foxtel National Youth League, Round 9
3pm, Sunday 22 December – Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart FC 0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3
(Joshua Barresi 58′, Alusine Fofanah 69′, Stipo Andrijasevic 75′ og)
Melbourne Heart Youth suffered a disappointed 3-0 loss at home to Western Sydney Wanderers to make it a weekend to forget for the club.
Second half substitute Joshua Barresi and Alusine Fofanah got on the scoresheet while Stipo Adrijasevic scored an unfortunate own goal in what was an insipid second half performance.
It was a almost a surprise how Heart came out after the break given the first half was an intense contest between two sides sitting mid-table.
Brendan Santalab got the action started in the sixth minute when he found space to shoot, but his effort was skewed wide of Tando Velaphi’s far post.
Velaphi started in goal in place of Marko Stevanja and was kept busy throughout the match, making some great saves.
He did however make an error in the 33rd minute when he scuffed a clearance straight to Yianni Perkatis, but the Wanderers midfielder couldn’t make him pay with a weak chipped effort.
The action intensified as the half came to a close, and Philip Petreski almost capped off a great team move with a powerful shot from outside the area.
His shot was parried away by Thomas Manos and Wanderers launched a quick counter attack.
Santalab found himself the move, and he dummied a defender before taking his shot which forced a great save from Velaphi down low to his right.
Heart had initially come out of the blocks well after the break, but after Wanderers brought on Joshua Barresi the game changed dramatically.
Barresi didn’t even have to wait long to get on the scoresheet, notching a goal with his first touch.
Santalab had whipped in a ball from the byline on the right wing, and Barresi had the simple task of tapping the ball past a helpless Velaphi.
The Wanderers pushed on after the goal, with Alusine Fofanah standing out in particular.
His driving runs were making Jeremy Walker look silly and in one opening in the 64th minute, he forced Velaphi into yet another good save with a decent drive.
Fofanah then doubled the lead five minutes after with the goal of the match.
Barresi played a lovely ball over the top of Heart’s defence, which Fofanah took in his stride and slotted a cool finish past Velaphi.
Wanderers were enjoying plenty of possession and they didn’t look like a team which had been beaten 4-1 just a week ago.
They kicked on and managed to get a third through an own goal to Stipo Andrijasevic.
Firstly, Mark Cindric had taken a curling shot at goal which Velaphi did brilliantly to save, then on the rebound Andrijasevic tried to clear the ball but only succeeded in ramming the ball into his own net.
In a way it typified Heart’s second half performance which was listless and error-prone, a far cry from what they had shown earlier in the game.
It was a must win game for Heart if they were to keep in touch with the midfield pack, but the loss is a setback as they head into the Christmas break sitting in 8th.
1. Tando Velaphi [GK], 2. Jeremy Walker, 3. Philip Petreski (c) (13. Alexander Dao +61′), 4. David Vrankovic, 5. Andrew Mullet, 6. Stefan Mauk, 7. Ersin Kaya (14. Tyler James +61′), 8. Paulo Retre, 10. Marcus Schroen, 12. Dylan Macallister (11. Stipo Andrijasevic +61′), 15. Sam Mitchinson
Unused subs: 16. Marko Stevanja [GK]
Yellow Cards: Mauk 77′, Mitchinson 86′, Retre 89′
Red Cards: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers:
1. Thomas Manos [GK] (20. Blake Tuxford +85′), 2. Shane D’Cunha, 3. Daniel Alessi, 4. James Baldacchino (13. Brendon Hooper +57′), 6. Jake McGing, 7. Nicholas Olsen, 8. Yianni Perkatis, 9. Brendan Santalab (16. Mark Cindric +65′), 10. Lawrence Hanna, 11. Alusine Fofanah, 15. Michael Trajkovski (12. Joshua Barresi +57′)
Unused subs: Nil
Yellow Cards: McGing 82′
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Patrick Chaplin
Assistants: Jack Morgan, Jordan English, Harley Natis
Pitch Rating: 7/10
Game Rating: 7/10
3. Alusine Fofanah
2. Joshua Barresi
1. Tando Velaphi
By Tomasz Ng