Wanderers coach Tony Popovic praised his side's character after they fought back from a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat Adelaide
Photo Source: Getty Images
Tony Popovic says Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-1 victory over A-League champions Adelaide United was the perfect response to last week's 4-0 Sydney derby humiliation.
The Wanderers were forced to come from 1-0 down at Coopers Stadium on Friday night and fought back to win thanks to a two-goals salvo from substitute Brendon Santalab.
"You always hope the players that come on the park make an impact," Popovic said.
"I thought we played very well in the first half and certainly didn't deserve to be 1-0 down at half time.
"To respond the way we did after last week and the changes we made today (Friday).
"To win it at the end, at the death, very pleasing."
The match wasn't without controversy as Santalab laid a crunching challenge on Adelaide's James Holland, minutes before popping up to score the winner.
Referee Shaun Evans issued Santalab with a yellow card, despite United's claims the lunging tackle warranted a straight red.
Earlier, Wanderers defender Jack Clisby attracted the ire of the United bench when he clattered winger Sergio Cirio in the first minute, forcing the Spaniard from the field moments later.
Clisby was also booked but Popovic felt the challenges were dealt with accordingly by the match official.
"They are yellow card offences," he said.
"They are strong tackles and they (the tackles) got what they deserved.
"I don't dispute that."