MATCH REPORT | Roar earn point in Parramatta

Brisbane Roar has maintained their seven point lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder, playing out a tough 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium tonight.

Brisbane Roar has maintained their seven point lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder, playing out a tough 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium tonight.

After Besart Berisha opened the scoring early for the away side, the Wanderers snatched a point with a late equaliser from substitute Labinot Haliti just five minutes from full-time.

The game was pegged pre-match as one of the encounters of the season and didn-t disappoint with action at both ends from referee Kris Griffith Jones- first whistle.

The Wanderers had the best of the opening chances, first Youssouf Hersi playing a dangerous ball across the face of goal inside three minutes before a Shinji Ono free kick forced a fingertip save from Brisbane goalkeeper Michael Theo not long after.

But it was the Roar who found the back of the net first after young defender James Donachie played in Berisha from the right wing on the quarter hour mark.

The Albanian took three clever touches inside the penalty before unleashing a powerful finish past Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic into the bottom corner of the net.

In the 35th minute, Theo kept the match in his team-s favour when he pushed a fierce shot from Hersi out for a corner and Mike Mulvey-s men went into the changing rooms with the single goal advantage.

Western Sydney came out pressing in the second term and it was the men in orange who uncharacteristically had to soak up the pressure inside their defensive third.

The Roar still showed their attacking instincts and Mulvey introduced last week-s goal scorer Henrique with 20 minutes left to play and the little Brazilian almost made another immediate impact in front of goal after a well-executed chip from Luke Brattan.

Both sides kept pushing but it was the Wanderers who managed to find the back of the net, Aaron Mooy floating the ball to the far post to allow Haliti to strike home from close range.

Brisbane now has a nine day turnaround, facing Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, 16 February in round 19 of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Labinot HALITI 85-) Brisbane Roar 1 (Besart BERISHA 14-) Friday, 7 February 2014 Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta Kick-off: 7.30pm local time / 6.30pm Brisbane time Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6. Jerome POLENZ (2. Shannon COLE 79-), 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Aaron MOOY, 11. Brendon SANTALAB (9. Tomi JURIC 74-), 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17. Youssouf HERSI, 19. Mark BRIDGE (7. Labinot HALITI 74-), 21. Shinji ONO

Substitutes not used: 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 20. Jerrad TYSON (gk)

Yellow cards: Matthew SPIRANOVIC 29-, Labinot HALITI 85-

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Liam MILLER (10. HENRIQUE 68-), 13. Jade NORTH, 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS (8. Steven LUSTICA 90-)

Substitutes not used: 14. Diogo FERRIERA, 16. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 20. Matthew ACTON (gk)

Yellow cards: Liam MILLER 39-, Matthew SMITH 53-

Red cards: Nil