AAP Soccer

Roar fight back to force A-League draw

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has hailed the fighting qualities of his side after they fought back from a disastrous start to secure a 2-2 A-League draw against Western Sydney Wanderers in Mudgee.

Two goals in the first 17 minutes to Spaniard Oriel Riera on Saturday put the Wanderers in pole position on a fine surface in the NSW country town, which Aloisi rated the best in Australia.

Goals to Alex Lopez and Adam Taggart in 11 minutes either side of halftime earned a third point in four games for the still winless Roar.

Both sides had chances to get maximum points.

Wanderers' substitute Jaushua Sotirio came closest, hitting the post with a curling left-foot effort in the 80th minute.

"A great comeback from the players," Aloisi said.

"We had a difficult trip back from Perth last week and then another difficult one here and it just seemed like the players took a while to get their legs going.

"But once they did we started to show the football we can play.

"I thought we started to play some really good stuff and control the game especially the second half."

Riera and Bruce Kamau tormented the Roar early as the Wanderers dominated.

Riera pounced from 10 metres after Kamau's shot hit the bar.

Five minutes later, Kamau was fouled in the penalty area by Pepper.

Riera had his penalty tipped onto a post by Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young but was first to the loose ball, netting with his second touch.

Young kept Brisbane in the game with saves from Nick Fitzgerald and Jordan O'Doherty.

Brisbane worked their way into the game in the last 15 minutes of the half.

Lopez started the comeback, firing in a 20-metre right-footer off the post in the 37rd minute.

Frenchman Eric Bautheac, who had an earlier attempt tipped away by Janjetovic and another shot blocked, earned a penalty two minutes into the second half.

He was pushed by Baumjohann and Taggart sent Janjetovic the wrong way with his spot kick.

Wanderers' coach Markus Babbel rated it his team's worst performance of the season.

He said they lost their structure and felt they dropped too deep instead of going for the kill in the period immediately after Riera's second goal.

"If we pushed the next 10 minutes more energy in this game maybe we can score the third one, then I think the game is finished," Babbel said.

"But we brought Brisbane back with poor body language, we dropped, we were not attacking anymore, we were not pressing any more.

'We lost many challenges and (made) many mistakes with the ball. Passing wasn't good from us."