Gold Stars and Red Cards – Wanderers vs Perth Glory (FFA Cup Round of 32)

A-League 2019 FFA Cup Round of 32 vs Perth Glory 07/08/2019 Dorrien Gardens
2-1 Win (AET)

New season, new format to disassociate from shameless appropriators. Welcome to ⭐ Gold Stars (good) and 🟥 Red Cards (bad) as we review the first competitive match for the new look Wanderers of the 2019/20 season as WSW take on Perth Glory in the FFA Cup Round of 32.

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Competitive Football is Back
Finally. Enough of the big showcase friendlies, the transfer rumour mills and collective impatience of the longest off season in world football to finally get back into the swing of things. Competitive football is back. They gave us Perth away in Round 1 of the A-League last season, and they gave us them in the FFA Cup Round of 32 this season. WSW v Popa Round 4. Going into the match, many WSW fans were quietly confident due to our positive showings last season against the best team in the league and Perth missing a number of key players leading into this match.

🟥 No Grozos, No….
*sigh* I’m not going to dub Grozos the next Kaz Patafta just yet, but we’re nearing this timeline soon. He did his shoulder this time last year in Darwin and now went off limping after 20 minutes. I really really hope it is a nothing injury and the substitution was more precautionary. The kid has talent, but we haven’t seen it yet at senior level due to him either being injured, recovering from injury or just back from injury to get injured again. Must be frustrating as hell for him and I wish him a speedy recovery so he can have another chance to light up the team.

Lopar Heroics
What a difference a strong head between the sticks makes. We saw it in his impressive highlights video the club released of him catching crosses and we saw it multiple times again this game. In all seriousness, we saw his quality during the Leeds match and he was called upon on numerous occasions in this match to save the WSW skin. He has great reflexes to get down low and commands his area for all the aerial work. I don’t have a heart attack every time the ball goes into the box anymore.

🟥 #MagicOfTheCup Camera Work
First half was all crazy documentary style zooming in and out, manual focus adjusting because “look shiny buttons!”. Second half we had a really tight angle, camera guy’s hands and his mate’s head in frame whenever the ball went into the near corner. All we needed to top it off was a comment of “can’t catch, can’t throw” but Vedran wasn’t playing so it was a missed opportunity.

Dawn of Adam
Been hearing great things about Mo Adam towards the end of last season and now in the NPL2 every week. The kid is a livewire and scoring machine and it was great to see a youth product come through, make a statement and announce himself when the team needed him most. Too many times we had many half chances but the ball got stuck underneath Yeboah and he couldn’t pull the trigger. Adam shot in anger almost immediately after coming on and forced Reddy to make a save. He made sure everyone will remember his name when he scored the opener in extra time. WSW now needs to lock him in a long term deal so when he eventually gets poached, the club gets a nice transfer fee.
Update: Mo Adam has signed a two year scholarship deal.

🟥 No Clean Sheet
Unfortunately, Wanderers doing Wanderers things means we can never hold a lead nor a clean sheet. It did require a massive deflection though because Lopar’s positioning was great all night and for him to be left completely stranded when the ball went in was telling. Our defence did look rather stable most of the time during that game and we survived Tarek getting targeted early on to hold out Perth for the 90 minutes. Unfortunately we need to learn to shut teams down when we go ahead. We saw it in a friendly during the week where we were 2-0 up against Newcastle Jets and they came back to equalise in a short 10 minute flurry (Jets did beat Victory in the FFA Cup after being down, so not taking anything away from them at all). But to win Championships you need a solid defence and clean sheets.

Late Winners = Best Winners
Nothing beats winning a game than a late(ish) winner. The game was looking to go to penalties or, many Wanderers fans probably thought, a Perth late winner; because how many times did we concede late last season? But Yeboah was on the spot to push the ball over the line after a scramble, Reddy fumble and cries of fouls. No foul. No chance. But a part of me feels that if that went to VAR then it would have been disallowed. Because Aus Refs and VAR. We’ll take the drama, the huge celebration by Kwame and the team and his swan dive onto his shoulder which made me wince and hope he didn’t just tear a rotator cuff. That passion from him, the players and the staff speaks volumes.

Overtime For Local Police
So we got drawn Sydney (Croatia) United 58 in the Round of 16. It won’t be at Edensor, but the cops will be happy. Overtime for the entire city’s police force. We are a community club after all.

See you space cowboy…

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