Brisbane Roar have played out a third consecutive draw and extended their undefeated run to six games in a tough Hyundai A-League encounter with Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.
The Roar were forced to defend for the majority of the second half with goals from Jamie Maclaren (below) and Jumpei Kusikami seeing the scoreline finish at 1-1.
Head Coach John Aloisi was disappointed with the second-half performance but says it shows great character in the side to come away with a draw.
"We’re disappointed with our performance but the Wanderers are a good team. We came here and played against a team that dominated and we found it hard," Aloisi said.
“They pinned us back in the second half and we started to invite pressure and that happens when you give away the ball.
"The positive is that it shows good character in the team when you don’t play well but are still getting results."
Maclaren has now scored in his last three starts in the Hyundai A-League and improves on his impressive record against Western Sydney having now scored nine goals in eight matches.
Manuel Arana (below) made his starting debut and almost combined with Brett Holman for the first goal after 16 minutes with Holman forcing a reaction save out of Jerrad Tyson from close range.
Maclaren opened the scoring just moments later from the penalty spot after Tyson brought down Roar’s number nine deep inside the Wanderers area.
Both sides had their fair share of possession throughout the first half in an end-to-end opening period with Brisbane taking the lead into the break.
Maclaren had the first chance of the second period, shooting straight at the Wanderers keeper from an acute angle.
Errand passing allowed the Wanderers to apply pressure to the Roar back four as the Wanderers began to control play. The home side's dominance in possession paid dividends on 56 minutes with a simple tap-in for Jumpei to score the equaliser.
The Roar struggled to escape their own half and were unable to create clear-cut chances throughout the majority of the second half, but resolute defending kept the home side at bay.
Michael Theo was called into action a number of times making an incredible ten saves, the most notable a save-of-the-year contender to deny a Nico Martinez strike from curling into the top corner.
The Roar launched a late flurry in search of a winner and finished the better of the two sides. Dimitri Petratos' deflected free-kick was kept out by a lunging save from Tyson before Tommy Oar went close to securing a stoppage-time go-ahead goal.
18’: Jamie Maclaren is fouled by Jerrad Tyson deep inside the Wanderers’ area and referee Adam Fiedling points the spot. The Roar’s talisman steps up to the spot and blasts home straight down the middle. 0-1
56': The Roar defence is split and Clisby meets the ball on the left side of the area before crossing low to the goalmouth where Jumpei taps home from point-blank range. 1-1
BRFC Man of the Match
Michael Theo (below) is in inspired form between the posts! After last week's heroic efforts against Sydney FC, he backs up against their cross-town rivals with ten saves.
“I’d rather not have busy nights but Western Sydney are a great team and to come here is always a difficult task and we will take a point and start preparing for Melbourne City next weekend.
“I thought we absorbed pressure quite well but we created some good chances. They had some great chances too so I think a draw is a fair result.”
Brisbane Roar Head Coach JOHN ALOISI: “When we kept the ball, we started to get on top in the last 5-10 minutes.
“We ended up dropping back too deep. Our intention was to press high and to make it difficult for them to play out from the back but you have to give credit to the Wanderers.
“All in all, it wasn’t what we were planning to do but that’s something we need to make sure we work harder on.
“There were periods in the first half where we created some good opportunities but it wasn’t enough. When you start to get pinned back against Western Sydney it’s hard to find an outlet when you do have the ball.
“We need to braver when we have the ball and make oppositions chase a little bit.”
Brisbane Roar defender LUKE DEVERE: "We always want to try and win games and given the way the game played out, both teams had some chances so I think a draw is a fair result away from home.
"Based on tonight we need a bit more hunger and be ruthless in both defence and attack.
On goalkeeper Michael Theo: "We have a lot of trust in Michael and alot of the chances they had tonight were from long-range so we back him to save those.
"We have to look at how we're setting up so it's something he has a bit less to do."
The Roar take on Melbourne City for the second time in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 campaign, travelling to AAMI Park on Saturday, 3 December (6:50pm KO Qld time). The Roar won the sides’ last clash 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium in Round 5.
Hyundai A-League Round 8, Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar, Friday, 25 November at Spotless Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Jumpei 56')
Brisbane Roar 1 (Maclaren 18’ p.)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 6.Mitch NICHOLS (7.Steve LUSTICA 89'), 8.Dimas (c), 9.Kerem BULUT (11.Brendon SANTALAB 70'), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES (15.Kearyn BACCUS 55'), 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 17.Artiz BORDA, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS
Unused substitutes: 5.Brendan HAMILL, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)
Yellow cards: Kerem BULUT 43’, DIMAS 62', Artiz BORDA 82'
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar FC: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN (23.Dimitri PETRATOS 73'), 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA (11.Tommy OAR 63') (pictured above), 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 22.Thomas BROICH
Unused substitutes: 4.Daniel BOWLES, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk)
Yellow cards: Jacob PEPPER 37’
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Adam Fielding; Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick; Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor; Fourth Official: Shaun Evans