Wanderers choke against gutsy Roar

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The red and black had all the early momentum but somehow didn't come away with the three points

Western Sydney Wanderers squandered a two-goal lead in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Brisbane Roar at Glen Willow stadium at Mudgee on Saturday.

On a perfect pitch in front of a raucous crowd at the NSW regional venue, Wanderers dominated the match in the early stages, going two goals ahead through Spanish marquee Oriol Riera within the first 20 minutes.

But Roar's Spaniard Alex Lopez got one back with a superb curling strike just before half-time before Adam Taggart tied the game up from the spot shortly after the restart.

Markus Babbel's side had more possession and the best opportunities to win the game in the dying stages, but the Wanderers failed to get the three points that seemed so likely early on.

Even before Riera opened the scoring, Josh Risdon and Kamau both fired shots just wide of the far post, but Brisbane failed to heed the warning signs.

On 10 minutes, Nick Fitzgerald lifted a wonderful ball over the Roar defence to set Kamau through on goal, but the former Melbourne City man's shot slammed off the crossbar.

However Riera was on hand to clinically smash the ball into the empty net, giving the red and black the perfect start.

Seven minutes later, the Wanderers took advantage of their momentum with makeshift Roar defender Jacob Pepper bringing down Kamau in the box.

Riera's penalty was brilliantly saved by Brisbane stopper Jamie Young, but the striker managed to prod home the rebound from point blank,

Pepper was lucky not to be sent off minutes later, butting heads with Wanderers playmaker Alexander Baumjohann despite having already been booked for conceding the penalty.

Western Sydney continued to make all the running until 10 minutes were left in the half, as Brisbane flicked a switch and applied pressure.

Lopez's equaliser was struck from outside the box and crept into the net off the post as the Roar took momentum into the break.

When Baumjohann brought down Eric Bautheac in the penalty area, Taggart converted the penalty to tie the game up and have Wanderers fans quaking in their boots.

It was an even match until the dying stages when the Wanderers stepped it up to try to win the game in front of the red and black pro crowd.

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Western Sydney substitute Jaushua Sotirio went closest to breaking the deadlock, striking the post flush with a brilliant curling shot from outside the area.

The Wanderers will definitely rue two points lost as John Aloisi will be pleased by the resilience of his Roar side.

 

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