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Roar hold on for a point at Wanderland

WSWvBRIWestern Sydney temporarily pushed themselves up into second place on the A-League ladder, following an enthralling 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.

Wanderers fans would’ve been hoping the mid-week Champions League loss to Kawasaki Frontale wouldn’t be weighing on the minds of a largely unchanged side, especially with the game being celebrated as Shinji Ono’s ‘send off’ home fixture.

With Besart Berisha again suspended, Roar coach Mike Mulvey elected for Jean Carlos Solorzano to lead the line in his stead. As well as that forced change, Mulvey brought in the experienced Shane Stefanutto and Luke Brattan to replace Diogo Ferreira and Steve Lustica respectively.

The Wanderers started the more lively and confident of the two teams, enjoying a series of corners and half-chances in the opening 10 minutes of the match. A corner off the boot of Ono in the 8th minute was narrowly headed over by Nikolai Topor-Stanley, who would be unhappy that his effort wasn’t at least on target.

Brisbane replied with a quality set piece of their own just two minutes later. After Thomas Broich was felled outside the penalty area, Luke Brattan fired in a scything free kick toward the far post. Ante Covic did his best to make a comfortable save look difficult, with the ball bobbling out of his control and trickling out of play inches wide of the post.

Match Details Full match details »

Western Sydney

Goal61′ T.Juric

Brisbane

Goal35′ L.Miller

Western Sydney’s Brendon Santalab went close to scoring twice in the space of five minutes. In the 24th minute, a shot toward the near post by Adam D’Apuzzo was deflected wide by Santalab, before a cross-goal headed effort by the Wanderers’ striker also drifted out.

It would eventually be the visitors who would take the lead, with Liam Miller firing in from an unmissable range. After forcing Covic into a wonderful reaction save minutes earlier, Miller made no mistake with his second chance, after Dimitri Petratos’ deflected shot fell into his path inside the six-yard box. It was just reward for Brisbane, who had been enjoying a dominant period of possession in the lead-up to the goal.

Petratos almost made it two-nil minutes later, after an error by Ono allowed the Roar midfield to advance on goal. Solorzano’s blocked shot fell to Luke Brattan, whose quality delivery to Petratos was undone by a shot that drifted wide of the far post.

Ono almost had a fairytale moment in the shadows of half-time, when the Wanderers earned a free kick on the right side of the box. The Japanese marquee sized up the opportunity and fired a wicked curling effort toward the near post. If not for a combination of Michael Theo and the crossbar, the home side would’ve gone into the break on level terms.

The second half started brightly, with both teams enjoying both quality periods of possession and a plethora of chances.

A give-and-go between McKay and Broich in the 59th minute ended with the former, and if not for a last-ditch tackle by Topor-Stanley, McKay’s shot might’ve found the net instead of deflecting out for a corner. From the resulting corner, McKay had another chance from the top of the box. This time, though, his scuffed effort drifted tamely away from the goal.

Just two minutes later, though, and half-time substitute Tomi Juric would put the game back on level terms. Mooy’s ball over the top of the Roar defence took a touch off Jade North before finding Bridge, who cleverly drew a defender before passing back to Juric on the top of the box. The striker’s side-footed effort was inch perfect, nestling in the back of the net past a diving Michael Theo.

With the Wanderers suddenly back in the game, they began to take control. Shinji Ono led from the front, with one effort tipped around the post by Theo, before a volleyed shot lacked the required dip to find its way under the crossbar.

A counter-attack in the 74th minute, orchestrated by Ono and Kwabena Appiah, should’ve resulted in a second goal for the home side. Ono’s perfectly weighted ball in front of Juric left the Wanderers’ striker with a straightforward chance, but disappointingly his shot was spooned well over the bar.

Henrique went close to snatching all three points for the Roar in the 88th minute, when he found space behind the Western Sydney defence on the left wing. After cutting inside, the diminuitive Brazilian let fly with a shot toward the far post that was palmed just wide by Covic – preserving a share of the points for the Wanderers.

A poor and dangerous tackle by Kwabena Appiah on Thomas Broich in the closing moments went unpunished by referee Peter Green, and will no doubt be scrutinised during the week.

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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Comments

  • britesparke

    The drawn result does no harm to the Premiers Brisbane’s campaign however, for WSW it just highlights the very poor finishing record they have for this season – 9 draws -the highest thus far of any team. They had every reason to perform tonight, a home game and farewell to Shinji but fell short yet again.