The Courier-Mail

WAN­DER­ERS REIGN AS PALM SPRINGS

- MARCO MONTEVERDE

WESTERN Syd­ney’s joy at reach­ing the FFA Cup quar­ter-fi­nals last night was tem­pered by a po­ten­tially se­ri­ous groin in­jury suf­fered by ex­pe­ri­enced for­ward Mark Bridge.

The Wan­der­ers ended Queens­land’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in this year’s Cup, with a 2-0 win over Palm Beach Sharks at Cbus Su­per Sta­dium on the Gold Coast.

The A-League club was clearly su­pe­rior last night against the NPL Queens­land side, which failed to match its ef­forts of last year when it reached the last eight of the Cup.

The Wan­der­ers, who were up­set last year by NPL South Aus­tralia club Ade­laide City in the round of 32, were rarely trou­bled by the Sharks, with not even a first-half mal­func­tion of the sta­dium’s sprin­kler sys­tem caus­ing them any prob­lems.

Span­ish midfielder Di­mas Del­gado opened the scor­ing in the 28th minute, prof­it­ing from a doz­ing Sharks de­fence.

Left to­tally un­marked at the far post, Del­gado scored from close range af­ter get­ting his head to a Jaushua Sotirio cross.

The Wan­der­ers domi- nated the sec­ond half and were re­warded with a sec­ond goal in the 86th minute through de­fender Bren­dan Hamill, who fin­ished sweetly from in­side the penalty area af­ter the Sharks failed to clear a cor­ner.

But it was Bridge’s in­jury that was a cause for con­cern for Western Syd­ney coach Tony Popovic.

Bridge was forced off in the 49th minute af­ter clutch­ing at his groin when chas­ing a Del­gado pass.

“The doc­tors are check­ing him now … I’m not sure how bad it is,” Popovic said.

“It’s a lit­tle bit dis­ap­point­ing, that, to come out of this game.

‘‘Apart from that it’s fan­tas­tic to go through. I never felt we were threat­ened.”

The Wan­der­ers will meet Perth Glory for a spot in the Cup semi-fi­nals.

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