Ono Tries To Keep His Team No. One

Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph/Gregg Porteous
Shinji Ono starred against Sydney FC. Image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph/Gregg Porteous
All the pre-match chat was about Alessandro Del Piero’s absence from Sydney FC’s line-up, but Shinji Ono showed last Friday night he shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to talking up the thirty-something superstars in the A-League. Western Sydney’s marquee man set up Iacopo La Rocca for the opening goal with a pinpoint cross before somehow snatching a second for the Wanderers with a piece of trickery around the box that few players in the competition could conjure.

That 2-0 victory was the Wanderers’ first of the new campaign after back-to-back draws with Central Coast and Wellington to kick things off. Tony Popovic’s team went 12 games unbeaten at the end of last season and now they’ve stretched that run to 15 in premiership fixtures. Western Sydney really kickstarted its season in round 12 when it destroyed Adelaide United 6-1 , and Friday night’s match-up is the first time the Reds have returned to Parramatta Stadium since then.

United had two-thirds of the ball in last week’s 1-0 loss to Central Coast, but failed to get a single shot on goal. New coach Josep Gombau has instilled a game based on maintaining possession, and in the first two weeks the Reds had no worries in the final third with five goals in total against Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory. Both of those games were at Hindmarsh Stadium, though, and Adelaide won just four matches on its travels last season, so the South Australians will have to find a way to win on the road to stay in the race for the Premier’s Plate. 

The Wanderers have lost the creative Youssouf Hersi for a week with a foot injury, although midfielder Aaron Mooy returns. Adelaide United has imports Jeronimo and Marcelo Carrusca back on deck.

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