The first intra-A-League pre-season game took place in Sydney's west suburb of Seven Hills as Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in front of 4000 at the Lily Homes Stadium. Neither side scored until after the 80th minute when a flurry of chances resulted in the final score line. The Phoenix are on a two-game tour in Australia and will play Newcastle Jets at Rockwell Automation Park on Saturday in Weston.
Santalab, who signed with the Wanderers after spending the past four years with Chengu Blades and Chongqing Lifan of the Chinese Super League, was a second half substitute in his debut for Tony Popovic. The 30-year-old twice headed in fellow substitute Jerome Polenz's crosses in the 85th and 90th minutes to give Western Sydney the dramatic win.
20-year-old Louis Fenton scored the game's opening goal in the 81st minute, tapping in a rebound to give the Phoenix a short-lived lead. Matt Thompson made his first appearance with Wellington, replacing Vince Lia in the 67th minute and nearly scoring with his first touch. His trial will continue in the Phoenix's Newcastle game on the weekend.
WPX Fenton 81'
WSW Santalab (Polenz) 85'
WSW Santalab (Polenz) 90'
Western Sydney: Tyson; Cole, D'Apuzzo, Beauchamp, Heffernan; Trifiro, Mooy, Juric, Appiah; Bridge, Haliti
Wellington: Moss; Caira, Boxall, Sigmund (Adams 56'), Muscat (Ridenton 75'); Watson (Joel Stevens 46'), Lia (Thompson 67'), Fenton; Huysegems, Hernandez (Justin Gulley 46'), Rufer (Tobias Bertsch 56')