Roar draw with Wanderers


Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney have fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their National Youth League match on Sunday at a rain-soaked Goodwin Park.

Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney have fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their National Youth League match on Sunday at a rain-soaked Goodwin Park.

Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes after a second massive storm in the space of two days bucketed rain and hail right across Brisbane.

Goodwin Park did not escape unharmed, with sections of the pitch heavily waterlogged, slowing down passes and causing players to lose the ball.

On balance, the Roar had far better of the first half and took a deserved 2-0 lead – only to let it slip just minutes from the interval.

Neither side was able to break the deadlock in a tight second stanza.

Playing in his first competitive match in six months, Brisbane midfielder James Meyer marked his comeback from an adductor injury by opening the scoring just after the quarter-hour mark.

His shot from the right deflected off Wanderers shot-stopper Aaron Liddell and trickled in for a 1-0 lead.

In the 22nd minute, Brisbane doubled their advantage with a brilliant move that began with a smart long ball from Luke Brattan, who picked out Donghyun Do and put him in the clear.

The South Korean winger rushed forward and took a clever, lofted shot that smacked into the right post – but Kwame Yeboah provided a simple, side-footed finish to turn in a low cross just seconds later.

Yeboah could have bagged a brace but, like Do, he was denied by the upright.

After pouncing on a saved Meyer shot, the boom midfielder looked certain to score again but could only watch as the ball hit the inside of the right post, then slide across the face of goal and out of play.

In amongst all the Brisbane dominance, the Wanderers had chances of their own – on 20 minutes, shots from Yianni Perkatis and Labinot Haliti both had to be cleared off the line.

But as half-time loomed large, Western Sydney clawed back with two quick goals to draw level.

The first started with a brilliant, desperate tackle from Mark Cindric, who picked the pocket of Kenneth Dougall on the visitors’ right hand side.

That sparked a lightning-quick counter attack that was over almost as soon as it started – Cindric played in Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, and the pacy young forward outfoxed Matthew Acton in a one-on-one with a nutmeg goal.

Moments later, the Wanderers made inroads on the right again to allow Haliti to tap in a clever cut-back, leaving Brisbane Roar stunned as they went into the sheds for the break.

But the home side came out with a renewed sense of purpose, and half-time substitute Benjamin Litfin would have marked that with a goal – but for a strong, one-handed save from Liddell that kept him out.

The best opportunities to take the lead fell to Yeboah and fellow Roar player James Donachie late on, but neither could make them count.

The last action of the match fell to Anthony Proia, whose header looked a potential match-winner – only for Acton to get a hand on it to guide it away.

Brisbane Roar 2 (Meyer 16, Yeboah 22)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Appiah-Kubi 44, Haliti 45)

Brisbane Roar: 2. James Donachie, 3. Cameron Crestani (9. Benjamin Litfin 45), 6. Ross Archibald (c), 8. Yuji Takahashi, 10. Kwame Yeboah, 12. Donghyun Do (7. Patrick Theodore 60), 13. Kenneth Dougall, 14. Rocky Visconte, 16. Luke Brattan, 17. James Meyer (11. Anthony Proia 45), 20. Matthew Acton.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Aaron Liddell, 2. Alastair Quinn (10. Jack Madgwick 60), 3. Jacob Williams, 4. Jack Green, 5. Nicholas Olsen (13. Jayden Koulizakis 60), 6. Stepjan Paric (c), 7. Labinot Haliti, 8. Yianni Perkatis, 9. Mark Cindric (12. Zakeriya Elrich 53), 11. Daniel Barac, 14. Kwabena Appiah-Kubi.