The Western Sydney Wanderers hopes of a home final are over after being held to a 0-0 draw with a ten-man Melbourne Victory.

With both sides coming into the contest on the back of contrasting form, neither could carve out any clear chances in the first 20 minutes.

Victory’s Fahid Ben Khalfallah and the Wanderers Brendon Santalab unable to direct their respective efforts on target either side of the 17th minute.

In search of his 100th A-League goal, Besart Berisha was able to find the back of net in the 28th minute after a Marco Rojas through ball but the Albanian’s effort was ultimately denied by the offside flag.

Just minutes later, James Troisi then forced Vedran Janjetovic to tip his curling effort over the crossbar as Victory started to penetrate the Western Sydney defence.

The Wanderers were similarly getting a stronger sniff of Victory’s goal with a poor back pass in the 39th minute gifting Nicolas Martinez a chance with Lawrence Thomas doing well to clear the resulting drilled shot with his feet.

In added time, Victory then did well to clear a Martinez cross destined for Santalab as the first half ended goalless.

After a fairly underwhelming first 45 minutes, Victory sought to start the second on the right foot with Troisi charging forward in the 49th minute and lashing a ball across goal that none of his were able to latch on to.

The Wanderers replicating their opponents just minutes later as the Victory were lucky to clear a Scott Neville ball into the box.

Victory’s luck however running out in the 53rd minute when Daniel Georgievski was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Scott Neville and given his marching orders.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Melbourne continued to push for a goal and went close through an ultimately offside James Donachie after the hour mark.

With the extra man, the red and black were starting to find plenty of space but Victory were desperate to keep a clean sheet with Leigh Broxham doing well to block a goal-bound Terry Antonis free-kick in the 72nd minute. 

After a deluge of blocked shots, there were 16 in total on the night, Martinez was finally able to get a shot away for Western Sydney in the 85th minute with his dipping, curling effort to the bottom left of goal saved well by Thomas.

In the dying minutes, Dimas saw his close range shot cleared before Steven Lustica fired wide as the Wanderers were forced to settle for a goalless draw.

The result ending Western Sydney’s bid for a top four finish but meaning little else with both sides assured a spot in the finals. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Melbourne Victory 0

ANZ Stadium (16,345)

Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. JANJETOVIC Vedran, 3. CLISBY Jack, 6. NICHOLS Mitch, 10. MARTINEZ Nicolas, 11. SANTALAB Brendon (23. SCOTT Lachlan 84’), 12. NEVILLE Scott, 14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei, 15. BACCUS Kearyn (8. DIMAS), 18. CORNTHWAITE Robert, 22. ASPROPOTAMITIS Jonathan, 24. ANTONIS Terry
Substitutes: 1. TYSON Jerrad, 5. HAMILL Brendan, 7. LUSTICA Steven, 8. DIMAS, 23. SCOTT Lachlan.

Melbourne Victory: 20. THOMAS Lawrence, 4. ANSELL Nicholas, 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel, 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 7. ROJAS Marco, 8. BERISHA Besart, 10.TROISI James, 14. KHALFALLAH Fahid Ben (23. INGHAM Jai 70’), 16. MAHAZI Rashid (22. NIGRO Stefan 59’), 17. DONACHIE James, 21. VALERI Carl
Substitutes: 11. AUSTIN Mitch, 22. NIGRO Stefan, 23. INGHAM Jai, 35. HOPE Joshua, 40. ACTON Matthew.

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A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.