Dario Vidosic has steered Western Sydney to their first win of the A-League season, striking in the first half to send Perth Glory down 1-0 at Pirtek Stadium.
The patience of Wanderers fans was finally rewarded on Sunday evening, in a reversal of last month’s FFA Cup quarter-final loss to the Glory.
It fittingly came on the one-year anniversary of their historic Asian Champions League triumph, though it was one of the revamped side’s nine new faces who provided the winner.
In the shadow of halftime, under cascading rain and flashes of lightning, Vidosic sent the crowd – and coach Tony Popovic – into raptures.
Spanish defender Alberto sent a pass to the edge of the box where Vidosic was waiting.
The marquee signing took a brilliant first touch before driving a powerful finish past ex-Wanderers custodian Ante Covic, who was back at his former home venue for the first time since being axed by Popovic.
Covic, who was named Most Valuable Player in Western Sydney’s ACL win, worked hard the entire match as the dominant Wanderers peppered the Perth goal with shots including an earlier on-target effort from Vidosic.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe was a picture of angst on the sideline and his gesticulating only increased as his players became more busy in the second half, creating some decent chances which they failed to convert.
Recently called up to the Socceroos, Josh Risdon was menacing on the wing, but it was two of his former Perth teammates, Mitch Nichols and Scott Jamieson, who really threatened with pace and accuracy as the red and black held the majority of possession.
A sneaky low free-kick from Jamieson after the break gifted Vidosic yet another opportunity only for him to dribble wide.
Italian striker Federico Piovaccari’s desperation to score continued when he almost latched onto a Mark Bridge rebound.
Popovic brought Piovaccari off in the 79th minute, replacing him with Brendon Santalab, back following a pre-season quad injury after last season’s lengthy spell on the sidelines with successive shoulder problems.
Soon after Santalab came on, he slid heavily into the goalpost while attempting to poke in a cross.
Initially appearing to suffer yet another stroke of back luck, he eventually returned to play.
Perth hassled and harried, but the Wanderers took their first clean sheet in 16 matches.