A three-goal second half was not enough for Canberra United in the Foxtel Y-League on Saturday, as a classy performance from Western Sydney Wanderers saw them finish 6-3 winners at the AIS.
The visitors started strongly and with intent, with Manyiel Riel Majok looking dangerous down the left and Mark Tokich pulling the strings in midfield. But United had the best early chance of the game as Josh Gulevski was set free but he rolled his shot wide of the far post with the goalkeeper beaten.
But shortly after the Wanderers opened the scoring as Majok poked home a loose ball in the area, before Tokich struck the crossbar with a wicked effort five minutes later.
United fought strongly at the back but the visitors looked too strong as the half hour mark beckoned, as Lachlan Scott scored from Majok's pass after 27 minutes, before Tokich scored six minutes later, chipping Finn Jurak in goals after he did well to save an initial effort.
Four minutes later it was four as Konstandinos Grozos broke through United's defence to fire home, and the lead remained 4-0 at the break to the guests.
But the hosts responded well to begin the second half, as first Roko Strika and then Mikey Katsoulis came close in the opening five minutes. Gulevski then had a good chance only to see it well saved by Daniel Axford, but with 15 minutes left United were handed a chance as Katsoulis was brought down in the area.
Strika rifled the penalty home into the top corner and eight minutes later substitute Mate Barisic fired an absolute rocket from outside the box into the back of the net to cut the deficit to two goals.
The Wanderers struck back quickly though, first through Majok three minutes later before Grozos shimmied his way through the backline almost from the restart to push the lead back to four goals.
There was still time for one more goal though, as Ben Obst raced in behind the defence, gathered a through ball and finished truly to round out the final score at 6-3.
All teams now have a bye over Christmas, and United's next match will be against Sydney FC at Lambert Park on Friday, 29th December.
Canberra United 3 (Roko Strika 75', Mate Barisic 83', Ben Obst 90+1') def. by Western Sydney Wanderers (Manyiel Riel Majok 13', 87', Lachlan Scott 27', Marc Tokic 33', Konstandinou Grozos 37', 88' )