The Wanderers posted their second victory over Brisbane Roar courtesy of a late Shinji Ono penalty at Parramatta Stadium
|By ADAM LUCIUS
A Shinji Ono penalty three minutes from time has handed Western Sydney Wanderers a pulsating 1-0 win over Brisbane at Parramatta Stadium.
The Wanderers' failure to convert chances again looked like costing them until Ono's spot-kick in the 87th minute turned the game on its ear.
It was the Japanese import's first A-League goal but his side were forced to survive a tense finish before claiming all three points.
With time almost up, goalkeeper Ante Covic pulled off a great save to thwart Erik Paartalu's powerful header.
Then, in the space of seconds, both Mitch Nichols and Shane Stefanutto hit the woodwork with long-range efforts.
The final whistle came as a great relief, the win only the Wanderers' second in their past five outings.
They can thank much-maligned striker Dino Kresinger for the victory after he won the penalty after being brought down in the box by Matthew Jurman.
It was just a shame the breakthrough win came before a season-low crowd of 6755 on a chilly afternoon at 'Wanderland'.
The hosts went into the game nursing an unwanted record of poor returns for chances created and nothing changed early.
Youssouf Hersi, returning from a two-match ban, was desperately unlucky not to open his A-League account on eight minutes when his thundering drive from outside the box hit the underside of the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
Five minutes later, Mateo Poljak's well-struck shot from distance was headed towards the target until the slightest of deflections sent the ball just wide.
Brisbane's best opportunity arrived on the half-hour, Poljak robbed of possession and the ball quickly distributed to Ben Halloran.
His pace allowed him to motor into the box but the No.11 poked his shot just wide of the right post.
It was the only real moment of consternation for the Wanderers' defence in the first 45 minutes.
Up front they continued to trouble Brisbane.
Jerome Polenz's lovely ball from the back released Hersi and he rolled a perfect pass for Iacopo La Rocca to lob his shot onto the roof of the net.
Roar lifted their intensity in the second half, Paartalu's low shot in the 47th minute forcing Covic into a good save with his legs.
Half chances presented themselves at both ends before the game really came to life in the final five minutes.
Ono's penalty broke the stalemate but the Roar were desperately unlucky not to snatch a point at the death after bombarding the Wanderers' goal.
It was the Wanderers' second 1-0 win over the defending champions this season.