Substitute Labinot Haliti's first goal of the season salvaged a 1-1 draw for Western Sydney Wanderers against A-League leaders Brisbane RoarLabinot Haliti's goal five minutes from full time earned Western Sydney Wanderers a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar to keep alive the race for the Premiers Plate.
It was an overdue equaliser for the Wanderers who dominated the second half, though it was the visiting Brisbane Roar who held the ascendency for most of the contest thanks to another perfect striker's goal from Besart Berisha on 13 minutes.
The home side started brightly and Youssouf Hersi played a low ball across the face of goal, but Mark Bridge's slide at the back post left the Wanderers inches short of a third minute opener.
However, it was to be another remarkable piece of marksmanship from Berisha that broke the deadlock. It was the first time the Roar had pierced the Wanderers penalty area and the in-form Albanian took full toll wrong-footing at least one defender before delivering a cool low finish.
Hersi was looking the man most likely for the Wanderers with his skilful dribbling down the right flank, and the Ethiopian-born flyer drew several fouls in the final third, none of which were capitalised on.
While Brisbane were not at the fluent best they rarely looked troubled early on. Indeed neither goalkeeper had a serious save to make in the opening half-hour.
Hersi again provided the attacking impetus for the Wanderers ten minute before the break, firing in a sweetly struck low shot which would have crept inside the far post from an acute angle but for the outstretched finger-tips of goalkeeper Michael Theo.
The Wanderers upped the ante in the dying stages of the first half with Spiranovic heading over, Hersi having a shot blocked and Aaron Mooy's free-kick causing considerable angst for Theo.
Within two minutes of the restart the Wanderers went closer to finding the net than they had done in the entire opening period.
Brendan Santalab's near-post close-range effort hit the woodwork with the chance emanating from a familiar source; the fleet-footed Hersi.
Almost immediately Matt Smith was deemed to have hauled down Bridge's run down the middle resulting in a caution for the Roar central-defender.
It was Santalab again on the hour mark giving Roar fans heart flutters when he skipped past the onrushing Theo, but his effort from the tightest of angles was always likely to be blocked by the retreating defenders.
Brisbane were starting to feel the pressure and it was then Bridge's turn to come close but he couldn't get enough purchase on a difficult bouncing ball.
Henrique could have put the game to bed with a rare Brisbane foray midway through the second stanza, but the Brazilian was put off by a crucial challenge from Jerome Polenz, following Luke Brattan's classy dinked pass.
The 16,401 finally had their appetite for a goal sated just when it looked like the home side would fall short of any reward.
Mooy's precision set up the equaliser with his tantalising cross gleefully stabbed home by Haliti from close range. Haliti earning a caution for removing his shirt in celebration and amusingly, shaking hands with the referee in exchange.