Brisbane bring point home from Parramatta

Brisbane Roar 1 (Miller)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Juric)
At Parramatta Stadium, Sydney

Brisbane and Western Sydney played out an entertaining and evenly contested 1-1 draw last night after Tomi Juric’s second half goal ruled out Liam Miller’s earlier strike- his third in Brisbane colours. The result see’s Brisbane move 13 points clear at the top after other results this weekend, and gives Brisbane something of a psychological edge going into the finals with one win and two draws in three meetings with the Wanderers.

Brisbane played well in the opening half having the line share of possession and they created a couple of good openings. The Wanderers had their own moments –albeit fewer- in the first half, but it was Brisbane who went in ahead after Miller got on the end of a Petratos blocked shot. The goal was what could be described as ‘un-Brisbane’- in some respects as it came from a cross looking for Solórzano after which Petratos –who along with Hingert had a good game on the right- got the second ball, saw his shot blocked and Miller finished. It’s the first goal I can remember coming from a cross since the 2012 Grand Final.

The second half started out as more of the same for the opening 15 minutes and in truth Brisbane had the chances to put the game to bed, the best of which fell to McKay from a corner. The changes on the hour were influential in the outcome in the game, and I said at the time- one team is making a change with an eye on the finals, the other is chasing the game. While the Wanderers change was a positive one with Appiah coming on to replace the ineffectual Cole who had an impact, Brisbane opted to give Brattan an early break while also getting time into Donachie leading into the finals. The ensuring re-shuffle lead to the Wanderers goal, with Appiah putting a cross field ball which wasn’t dealt with and went all the way thru to Bridge on the left, who cut it back to an unmarked Juric to finish. Donachie didn’t start well once he came on, however as Mulvey said in the postgame that’s not a change he’d usually make.

From then on it was similar to the end of the last season with the Wanderers pushing hard for a winner and Brisbane defending well. They never got anything more than a few half chances, while Brisbane also had a couple of decent chances in the final moments. The Wanderers can also consider themselves lucky to finish with 10 after Appiah’s shocking challenge on Broich, which was evident given the marks on the German. A draw in the end however was a fair result, and a match-up we may yet see again at some stage of the finals.

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