Wanderers make it six A-League wins in a row
The A-League's form side Western Sydney have strengthened their hold on a top two berth with an impressive 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
Iacopo La Rocca and Shinji Ono scored the Wanderers' goals as the visitors notched their sixth straight win - the best streak in the league this season - to move five points clear of the third-placed Victory.
It was the Victory's first home defeat since crosstown rivals Melbourne Heart downed them to open the season and their second straight loss, after falling to fourth-placed Adelaide United last weekend.
The Wanderers' win, in front of 21,638 fans including a noisy throng of their own supporters, was well-deserved.
They put the Victory under constant pressure, not letting the home side develop fluidity or freedom at any stage.
The Victory's speedy New Zealand attacker Marco Rojas, who has been in dazzling form this season, was given little room to move and with the injured Archie Thompson missing the Victory lacked inspiration.
La Rocca gave the visitors the lead in the 18th minute, after Ono sent a free kick from about 30m deep into the box and La Rocca showed poise in a goalmouth scramble to put it home.
While the Wanderers had two more dangerous attacking thrusts soon after, the Victory didn't look like scoring in the first half.
They showed a few positive signs early in the second.
Argentinian play-maker Marcos Flores forced Wanderers keeper Ante Covic into his first save of the match four minutes into the half.
Covic had to work even harder two minutes later, when a slick Flores pass allowed Rojas to penetrate deep and cross to the goalmouth, where Covic did well to block Andrew Nabbout's shot.
The Wanderers looked to have snuffed out Victory's rally when Ono pounced on a rebound to goal in the 72nd minute after Nathan Coe had parried a Youssouf Hersi shot.
Young Victory substitute Connor Pain gave his side a flicker of hope when he scored his first A-League goal on the counter-attack three minutes later but the home side couldn't fashion another.