City slump to third straight loss

02 January 2018 21:17:58 GMTPlus11
Oriel Riera

Western Sydney picked up their first home win of the season to ease some of the pressure on coach Josep Gombau, beating Melbourne City 2-1.

Spanish striker Oriel Riera ended his goal drought as he scored the equaliser and then set up the winner for Mark Bridge just two minutes later.

Gombau had only won one of his first six games in charge, but the timely success lifted Wanderers two places into seventh spot.

City, who fell to a third straight defeat, had plenty of possession in the second half but created few clear-cut chances apart from Luke Brattan's fierce free-kick which was well saved by keeper Vedran Janjetovic.

Warren Joyce's side were left to rue a penalty miss by Ross McCormack as their run of never having beaten Wanderers in Sydney extended to nine games.

Western Sydney suffered an early setback when playmaker Alvaro Cejudo limped out of the game in the ninth minute.

And City broke the deadlock 20 minutes before the break when he headed home a Nathaniel Atkinson cross at the far post.

The home side hit back strongly, with Jumpei Kusukami hitting the outside of the post before the game was turned on its head at the half-hour mark.

Riera equalised when he controlled a deflected cross from fullback Raul Llorente and drilled a fierce shot past keeper Dean Bouzanis for his fifth goal of the season but also his first in seven matches.

Two minutes later he shrugged off a couple of tackles and supplied a good through-ball that Bridge finished with aplomb.

McCormack, back after a knee injury, had the chance to make it 2-2 six minutes before the interval. Recalled Wanderers skipper Robbie Cornthwaite fouled Scott Jamieson in the area and McCormack stepped up to take the penalty, but Janjetovic pushed away his shot.

Western Sydney are 25.00 to win the Grand Final.

Wanderers are 3.40 to win their next game against Brisbane, who are 2.15 with the draw 3.50.

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