Tate Russell’s second-half thunderbolt ultimately proved crucial for Western Sydney Wanderers in their gutsy 2-1 A-League triumph at Newcastle Jets on Friday.
Wanderers, who earned a first win under boss Carl Robinson against his old club, led 2-0 thanks to Ziggy Gordon and Russell only for Nigel Boogaard to ensure a nervy finish at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Centre-back Gordon headed home James Troisi’s seventh-minute corner to get Wanderers rolling.
The impressive Nicolai Muller, who finished with three shots, three key passes and 80.6 per cent pass accuracy, thought he had doubled the lead with a tremendous effort from range, only for Simon Cox (two shots, two key passes) to be ruled offside in the build-up by VAR.
— A-League (@ALeague) January 8, 2021
Newcastle had their chances, but Thomas Aquilina somehow failed to make contact with Muller’s teasing cross before the break.
Russell was far more clinical when he drilled in Cox’s lay-off from the edge of the box just before the hour in an effort of sublime technique.
Boogaard headed the Jets back into the contest when he finished from Ramy Najjarine’s assist, the winger proving a great creative force throughout (five chances created, three shots, 79.1 per cent successful passes).
The Jets peppered the visitors’ goal from there on in but were unable to find a leveller and have started the campaign with two defeats.
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