April 19, 2015 12:23:46 UK
Milestone man Mark Bridge put the smiles back on Western Sydney Wanderers’ faces with a major contribution to their 2-1 victory over championship-chasing Adelaide United.
Bridge marked his 200th A-League appearance with an assist and a goal as Wanderers climbed off the bottom of the table with a come-from-behind success at Pirtek Stadium.
The turning point came just after the hour mark when, with Western Sydney trailing 1-0, Bridge stormed into the area and was tripped from behind by Nigel Boogaard.
Referee Jarred Gillett showed Boogaard his record sixth A-League red card after pointing to the spot, and when Tomi Juric lashed home the penalty it gave the home side half an hour to produce a winner against a 10-man United.
In fact, it took them just seven minutes as Juric flicked on Yojiro Takahagi’s cross and Bridge pounced to fire a low shot past Eugene Galekovic.
Wanderers had picked up just two points in their previous nine games, but the victory could just be enough for them to avoid the wooden spoon.
It was to Tony Popovic’s side’s credit that they produced a professional display despite the distraction of facing Kashima Antlers in a must-win Asian Champions League clash on Tuesday.
Wanderers are 2.20 to beat Kashima, who are 2.80 with the draw 3.30.
Mateo Poljak played a pivotal role at both ends of the pitch for Wanderers, first clearing off his own line and then supplying the pass to Bridge that yielded the penalty.
Adelaide, needing a win to keep alive their hopes of a top-two finish, created good chances in the first half and converted the last of them just before the break. The Reds are 7.50 to win the Grand Final.
Tarek Elrich linked with Cameron Watson to power into the box and when he squared the ball Sergio Cirio curled a superb shot past Ante Covic into the corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
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