Stalling second half to blame as Wanderers slip

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Having dominated the opening 60 minutes and taken a handy 2-0 lead, Western Sydney Wanderers looked likely headed for a convincing win at their new home ground.

But fans at Spotless Stadium wouldn’t see a victory as after going two goals ahead the Jets’ Nigel Boogaard and Andrew Hoole respectively ensured the spoils were shared.

After a tremendous first half which saw Aritz Borda head in the opener before newly appointed captain Dimas tucked home a penalty to put the Red and Black 2-0 up, the Wanderers well and truly stalled in the final 30 minutes.

“We certainly didn’t play that last half hour the way we played the first 60,” Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said post-game.

Despite going 2-0 down away from home, the Jets never gave up hope of walking away from the game with a positive result.

“We backed ourselves to get something from the game in the last 20 and that’s what we did,” Jets coach Mark Jones said after the game.

“They kept coming and credit to them, but we certainly gave them a chance,” Popovic said.

An Andrew Hoole freekick in the 88th minute drew the two sides level with Western Sydney ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne caught out at his left post when he should have done better.

“Mistakes happen in football, nine times out of ten that’s how goals are scored.

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It was only allowed to happen because of how we played that last 20-30 minutes,” Popovic said reflecting on the goal.

Fan favourite and foundation Wanderers ‘keeper Jerrad Tyson was brought back to the club in preseason with calls inevitably going to be made to make him a starter after Redmayne’s error.

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Tyson however was quick to defend his fellow ‘keeper but says he, like everyone, wants to play.

“Obviously as goalkeepers our mistakes can be a little more highlighted than others. Redders is a great goalkeeper who has saved us numerous times.

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We’re a team, everybody wants to play and everyone is working hard,” Tyson said.

The first ever football match to be played at Spotless Stadium and the new home for the Wanderers for the next few seasons, super sub Brendon Santalab was frustrated with the result.

“Overall very disappointed. We didn’t win for the fans tonight, we really want to make this place a fortress and it didn’t go that way tonight,” he said.

Despite the disappointment, Santalab was able to see the bright side of things.

“It’s not a loss, it’s two games unbeaten, we have to look at the positives,” he said.

With another game at Spotless on Saturday against the Mariners, the Wanderers faithful will be hoping that that unbeaten streak can be stretched to three with a win and not a draw.

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Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas
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.

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