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Wanderers seize on Brisbane slip

PA Sport
Western Sydney Wanderers celebrate their victory.

Western Sydney Wanderers avenged their 2013 grand final defeat to Central Coast Mariners with a 2-0 victory which moved them to within two points of the A-League summit on Monday.

The Wanderers were the better side throughout and were deserved winners thanks to first-half goals from Tomi Juric and Youssouf Hersi.

The win ensured they go into Christmas on the heels of table-toppers Brisbane Roar, who were surprisingly beaten by Newcastle Jets on Friday.

Central Coast stay sixth after a second loss in three games.

After a pulsating opener to what was a cracking contest, it was no surprise to see the Wanderers go ahead after 20 minutes via a classy finish from Juric.

Iacopo La Rocca's initial attempt deflected off Marcel Seip and into the path of the unmarked Juric at the back post.

He positioned his body perfectly for the overhead kick, leaving Liam Reddy with no chance with a powerfully struck shot from the edge of the six-yard box.

The goal stunned the Mariners into action and they probably should have equalised soon after.

Josh Rose saw his shot blocked before Marcos Flores found himself with no keeper in sight and an open net, only for Matthew Spiranovic to brilliantly slide in and pull the ball back from a seemingly hopeless situation.

The visitors were duly punished for their wastefulness.

Just past the half-hour mark, the Wanderers poured forward in numbers with Shinji Ono lurking out wide on the right.

The former Japan international did not waste a second, sending a first-time ball across the face of goal for Hersi to slam home for 2-0.

Central Coast never seriously threatened a comeback and the Wanderers almost added a third through Jerome Polenz.

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