FIRST they satisfied critics and proved they could score goals.
Next, they proved they could win and were developing an army of supporters, the Wanderers Warriors, for home games at Parramatta Stadium.
Next, they proved they could come from behind.
Now they’ve proved they can beat top-class opposition before a large and forbidding crowd away from home.
The last observation is the most important.
They beat the Melbourne Victory 2-1 before 21,638 at AAMI Park on Saturday night, jumped the hosts and moved into second place on the A-League soccer table, just a point behind leaders, the Central Coast Mariners.
It was the Victory’s first defeat in 17 matches at home.
Yes, the Western Sydney Wanderers are the Australian sports story of the summer, the team thrown together in virtually five minutes and who have exceeded all and every expectation under Socceroo player but rookie coach Tony Popovic in their debut season.
They won’t need to be throwing them in at Parramatta Stadium this Saturday night.
Wanderers Warriors will be there early as the Westie team bids for its seventh straight win, against Perth Glory.
Goals to recently resigned midfielder Iacopo La Rocca and marquee talisman Shinji Ono 11th and 72nd minutes meant victory against the Victory, for whom Connor Pain scored in the 74th minute.
And as a counterpoint to the battling Westies’ status, the win came on the same weekend Sydney FC announced the signing of Socceroo captain Lucas Neill, as he joined Allesandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton, reinforcing the Wanderers’ hometown rivals’ status as the millionaire glamour club.