After an impressive 2-0 win over Sydney FC 1 week ago, Western Sydney Wanderers have slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Macarthur Bulls courtesy of a Davilla double and a Craig Noone opener.
The win for the Bulls solidifies Ante Milicic’s side well inside the A-League Men top four as the Campbelltown based team looks for back to back finals series spots.
The Bulls found the opener earlier on as Al Hassan Toure pulled off a freak assist with no boot as he picked out fellow winger Craig Noone, who buried the chance in the top left corner leaving Daniel Margush with no chance to save the 34-year-olds shot.
Keijiro Ogawa had a half-chance late on in the first half as Dimitri Petratos floated a ball to the oncoming head of Ogawa but Aleksandar Jovanovic stood tall and cleared any chance of a Red and Black equaliser in the opening 45 minutes.
In the second half though, it was the away side who came out guns blazing as the Wanderers looked to draw level with an abundance of pressure on the Bulls’ goal.
For Rudan though, his side sparred their blushes despite dominating the opening 30 minutes of the second half as a special strike from Ulises Dávila doubled the Bulls’ lead at home.
However, Terry Antonis pulled one back for the Red and Black as his header guided past Filip Kurto to give the Wanderers a glamour of hope late on but those hopes were quickly dashed as Davilla netted a 98th-minute penalty after Michael Ruhs was brought down in the box by Daniel Margush.
FRONT THIRD ISSUES
Scoring goals has been a major issue for Mark Rudan’s side far this season, as the Wanderers have only scored 16 goals in 15 games.
That tally is the 3rd least in the league with only the Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory scoring less with those respective sides sitting below the Wanderers on the ladder.
Tomer Hemed sits atop of the Golden Boot race for the Wanderers with four goals so far this campaign with the Red and Black but two of the four have come from the penalty spot.
Along with Hemed, Dimitri Petratos has only netted his two goals so far this season from 12 yards something that Mark Rudan will want to work on if his side is to reach finals football this season.
WSW MALAISE CONTINUES
Despite putting up well over 60% of the ball and having nearly double of the passes completed of their opponents, Rudan’s side failed to break down the sturdy defence of the Bulls across the stretch of the match.
The 11 on the pitch for Rudan mustered up over 12 shots on goal but only one of those 12 shots were on target with that shot on target being Antonis’s goal in the 80th minute.
Time and time again the final ball played into the Bulls box was not up to scratch and there were countless chances missed as Mark Rudan was left pondering what could have been in their clash against the Bulls.
The result is a disappointing one for the Wanderers who had seemed to turn a corner last week as they defeated Sydney FC 2-0 at home in the Sydney Derby played out at CommBank Stadium.
BULLS BACK ON TRACK?
After three successive games without a victory and tasting heavy defeats against Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory, the Bulls finally got back on the winners’ board this evening as they defeated the Wanderers 3-1 at home to re-light their finals football hopes.
That being said, the Bulls still have a long way left in the season and could hit another purple patch of form if they don’t see results going their way.
It was vintage Milicic football on show this evening as his side grinded out the substantial pressure faced from the Red and Black as they steam-rolled the Wanderers.
The Western Sydney Wanderers and Macarthur Bulls are next in action against Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United respectively as the sides look to continue on with their 21/22 A-League Men campaign.