2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Pirmin Schwegler (5')
  • Nicolai Müller (25')
  • Mitchell Duke (27', 38')
  • Simon Cox (73')
  • Riley McGree (13' PEN)
  • Ben Halloran (22')

Mitch Duke double helps Western Sydney thrash Adelaide United

Western Sydney captain Mitch Duke scored a double as they ended an A-League home drought with a 5-2 win in an extraordinary match at Bankwest Stadium on Friday.

The drama carried on from the final minutes of their most recent encounter, when Adelaide were awarded two late penalties, with Wanderers holding on to win 3-2, after George Blackwood missed the second of his spot kicks.

Wanderers opened the scoring, trailed 2-1 and then scored three goals to lead 4-2 at the end of a stunning first half which produced 25 shots, 19 of them from the hosts.

Irish striker Simon Cox scored the only goal of the second half when he skilfully slotted the ball home in the 73rd minute after his initial attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Paul Izzo.

It was Wanderers' first home win in seven games since their derby victory over Sydney FC on October 26.

They moved to within four points of Brisbane in sixth while Adelaide dropped a spot to fifth after Wellington's win over Western United earlier on Friday.

The early goalscoring glut started in the fifth minute when Pirmin Schwegler's free-kick from outside the penalty area deflected off Louis D'Arrigo, giving Izzo no chance.

The goal came after a lengthy stoppage prompted Duke suffering a facial cut when he was elbowed by D'Arrigo, who was booked following the incident.

As was the case last week against Newcastle, Wanderers had more chances to build on a early goal, with the outstanding Bruce Kamau and Cox going close before they surrendered the initiative.

In-form forward Ben Halloran was instrumental in Adelaide's fightback, which netted two goals in nine minutes.

He won a penalty converted by Riley McGree after being fouled by Daniel Georgievski and then bagged his fifth goal in the last six games via a fine right-footed shot from just outside the area.

Adelaide's lead lasted just three minutes as Nicolai Muller tapped in from close range after marauding wing back Kamau's shot came off Izzo's legs.

It was then Duke's turn to shine with two fine strikes, though Adelaide coach Gertjan Verbeek would query the room the Wanderers captain was allowed for both.

Duke pounced on a flick from Cox to lash the ball past Izzo and then powered a header home from a perfectly judged cross from Schwegler, before being substituted in the second half with a hip injury.

Adelaide created several second half chances but could not bridge the gap.