Brisbane Roar has pulled off one of the great Hyundai A-League comebacks to secure a thrilling 2-2 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.
Trailing as the match ticked into second-half stoppage time, two goals in as many minutes at the death earned the Roar a deserved point in what was a true display of a never-say-die attitude.
Tobias Mikkelsen’s first Hyundai A-League goal handed the Roar key momentum before Adam Taggart sent the crowd into raptures with a 95th minute equaliser.
“It’s a moment [the equalising goal] you have to enjoy and use as a stepping stone to getting the season back on track,” Taggart said post-match.
“It’s a good start and we need to move on from that.”
Head Coach Darren Davies was proud of his side’s never-give-in mentality & praised the influence of every player on the pitch.
“We were disappointed with the goals we conceded but in the second half we built momentum…and what a finish…everyone was in the box & it was great value,” Davies said.
“Everyone had an influence which is what we need, everyone needs to contribute. Actions speak louder than words and there’s a never-say-die spirit at this Club.”
The game’s first goal came inside the opening 20 minutes in controversial circumstances as Roly Bonevacia was deemed to have remained onside before finishing into the bottom corner past Jamie Young.
The goal stood & the visitors then doubled their lead in the shadows of the break as Bruce Kamau & Kwame Yeboah combined with the latter curling a shot into the top right corner.
Chances began to come for the Roar as the second half wore on as Henrique had a free-kick deflected inches wide before Adam Taggart narrowly missed the target after a great passage of play in the front third.
The influence of Brisbane’s three substitutes, which included 17-year-old debutant Jay Barnett, saw the Roar begin to control play throughout the second period.
Brisbane continued to push hard for a goal that would set up a grandstand finish & Tobias Mikkelsen did just that, finding a way to goal through Janjetovic’s legs in the 92nd minute.
Incredibly, three minutes later & the Roar were level as Adam Taggart rose highest in a packed penalty area, thundering a header into the roof of the net & sending Suncorp Stadium into delirium.
The Roar will be looking to take momentum into their next challenge, an away date against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium next Saturday night (6:50pm KO).
Western Sydney Wanderers – Bonevacia 18’ – 0-1
Roly Bonevacia is released by an early ball out from defence and the winger thunders down the line, cuts inside and strikes the ball past Jamie Young into the near post.
Western Sydney Wanderers – Yeboah 42’ – 0-2
Bruce Kamau whips across a dangerous cross to Kwame Yeboah who waits near the penalty spot, before he creates space as he turns and fires home to extend the visitor’s lead.
Brisbane Roar – Mikkelsen 90+2’ – 1-2
After skilful build up play from the Roar, Tobias Mikkelsen ghosts into the box and receives Adam Taggart’s back heel, before clinically finishing past Vedran Janjetovic.
Brisbane Roar – Taggart 90+6’ – 2-2
A defensive error from Janjetovic in the dying minute of the game pays dividends as the Roar’s entire squad converge on the penalty area, but it’s Taggart who meets the ball with a bullet header to draw the sides level.
STORY OF THE GAME
- The Wanderers open the scoring controversially in 18th minute after calls for offside were waived away.
- The Roar dominated large periods of the second half with notable chances from Henrique, Adam Taggart and Dylan Wenzel-Halls putting the visitors under the pump.
- Jay Barnett made his Hyundai A-League debut as the Roar’s final substitute of the game, replacing Alex Lopez in the 82nd minute.
- Tobias Mikkelsen has secured his first goal in the Hyundai A-League through his stoppage-time conversion.
- Adam Taggart stepped up in the final minute to secure a point for Brisbane and reach the significant milestone of 50 Hyundai A-League goals.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 15: Brisbane Roar FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday, 25 January
Brisbane Roar 2 (Mikkelsen 90+2’, Taggart 90+6’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Bonevacia 18’, Yeboah 42’)