Western Sydney may not have been at their best but they managed a vital point as they held out for a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night.
The result puts Western Sydney in to second place ahead of the last round of the season next week, although they can’t rest as they sit level on points with the Central Coast Mariners.
It was a fast paced opening as possession routinely changed hands between the two sides, as both struggled to get in to their rhythm.
In the eighth minute Nikolai Topor-Stanley had the first chance of the match as his header went just over the bar before a Luke Brattan free-kick forced a good save out of Ante Covic.
After a tight period the Wanderers had the next chance as Adam D’Apuzzo’s ball in to the box found Brendan Santalab at the near post but he sent his effort wide of goal.
Brisbane then resumed their usual service as they started to control possession and the match, allowing them to have the chances.
Just after the half hour Brisbane went close as a half-clearance fell to Liam Miller who was able to control and then shoot but saw his effort saved by Ante Covic.
But another poor clearance gave Brisbane the lead just moments later as Luke Brattan was the recipient of the clearance, allowing him to shoot only for the Wanderers to deflect the effort to Miller, who took a touch and then beat Covic to put Brisbane in front at half-time.
Brisbane came out from the break and continued to be the better side as they controlled possession, while Western Sydney looked a shadow of themselves as they made errors and couldn’t link up with each other.
After the hour mark, a counter allowed the Wanderers to get back on level terms with Western Sydney catching out Brisbane through a switch, that allowed Mark Bridge to draw defenders and send the ball back to Tomi Juric who was able to tuck the ball home.
That seemed to allow the Wanderers back in to the match as Kwabiena Appiah came on as a substitute and proved vital, sending a ball in for Shinji Ono, who was able to square back for Juric who sent his effort over the bar.
Both sides went for it late on with the match opening up, but neither side could really find a chance, forcing both sides to settle for a draw, a point that could prove crucial to Western Sydney picking up second place.