Retiring Pirmin Schwegler scored as Western Sydney Wanderers beat Melbourne Victory in the A-League. Image by Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

soccer

Wanderers end A-League season on a high

2020-08-12 23:06:40

Western Sydney Wanderers have ended a difficult A-League season on a high note with a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Bankwest Stadium.

In his final game of professional football, Wanderers midfielder Pirmin Schwegler signed off in style with a spectacular goal in the 34th minute.

Jordan O’Doherty doubled Western Sydney’s lead in the 62nd, with Andrew Nabbout snatching back a goal for Victory in the 66th.

Wanderers coach Jean-Paul de Marigny paid tribute to Schwegler, who returned from his home in Germany and completed 14 days in hotel quarantine to see out the season.

“For him to score the goal, I say this a lot, the more you put in a game, the game will reward you and there’s another example of how the game rewards players that are top professionals and understand how to play the game,” de Marigny said.

The Wanderers almost started the game with a bang when Matt Jurman attempted a long-range chip in the ninth minute but Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton was able to tip the shot to safety.

Victory’s first half attacks were rare and the Wanderers were rewarded for repeat efforts when they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute.

Captain Mitch Duke whipped a cross into the box, where Simon Cox laid the ball off for Schwegler to sizzle a shot past Acton.

Victory were unable to respond in the first half and in the 62nd minute, Duke skidded a left-footed cross towards the near post for O’Doherty to turn home Western Sydney’s second.

Four minutes later, Victory hit back.

Lleyton Brooks slipped a ball through for an advancing Leigh Broxham, who squared it for Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio.

The teenager flicked it on for Nabbout who, kept onside by the Wanderers defence, tapped home.

Nabbout had another attempt correctly ruled offside in the 83rd minute and despite looking lively, Victory were unable to snare a point.

“They deserved to be in front. We didn’t do enough in the first half. We kind of played into their hands a little bit,” Victory interim coach Grant Brebner said.

“I think we actually played some decent stuff in the second half and arguably could’ve got something out of it.”

Marco Rojas (hamstring) missed the game while it was Nabbout and James Donachie’s final game for Victory, with the pair to depart for Perth and Newcastle respectively.

It was likely Duke’s last game in red and black, with the Wanderers striker expected to sign with Saudi club Al-Taawoun.