Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Brisbane Roar  2 - 0


A-League: Western Sydney 2 Brisbane Roar 0

12 April 2013 13:44

Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Brisbane Roar 2-0 on Friday to reach a fairytale grand final in their maiden A-League season.

Set on their way by Croatian Dino Kresinger and sealed with a touch of brilliance from Japan's Shinji Ono, the only downside in the win for the Wanderers was a needless red card to important winger Youssouf Hersi.

Two poor tackles means he will miss next Sunday's grand final at Sydney's ANZ Stadium, where the Wanderers will face either Central Coast or Melbourne Victory.

But it failed to dampen the mood of the thousands of Wanderers fans among the crowd of 19,369 at Parramatta Stadium, with favourite Shinji Ono's outstanding second-half finish capping off Dino Kresinger's own earlier brilliance.

The Wanderers' night of delight was capped off when captain Michael Beauchamp lifted the Premiers' Plate after the final whistle, with the home crowd staying in their seats to celebrate.

Kresinger had mustered the match's first shot on goal on 15 minutes, drawing a save out of Michael Theo.
He did not waste his second opportunity just a minute later, superbly back-heeling Mark Bridge's cross at the tip of the six-yard box after Hersi's darting run.

Brisbane carved out a handful of half-chances, while Kresinger failed to make the right connection on a header in the 24th minute.

The Wanderers seemed to have more class to their build-up play, but Roar dug in through Mitch Nichols, captain Thomas Broich - having overcome an ankle injury to take his place - and Luke Brattan.

Broich seemed not to misplace a ball, while the Wanderers' own playmaker Ono - despite being cheered with every touch - was somewhat less influential.

Bridge and Hersi were happy to shoulder their share of the load, however, even though the latter showed his wicked side with a poor tackle on Brattan on 34 minutes that warranted a yellow card.

Bridge sought to gain some reward for his hard work when his drive was beaten away by Theo in the 40th minute, while the Roar could have had a case for a penalty when Yianni Perkatis bundled Brattan over as the Brisbane man forged into the area.

Kresinger missed a glorious chance to make 2-0 just two minutes into the second half when unmarked in the box, and Roar winger Ben Halloran - finally finding something like his range - nearly made him pay soon after when his long-range drive got Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic scrambling.

Opposite number Theo had to be even more aware when he saved from both Bridge and Mateo Poljak in the 55th minute, with a block from Perkatis' follow-up preventing the need for a triple save.

It was the visitors, however, who largely took control of the second half's early stages, and Halloran drove straight at Covic just after the hour mark.

But the Roar's job was made harder when Broich limped off after 69 minutes, and just two minutes later his side were on the ropes and reeling.

Somewhat ironically, it was Ono who struck the blow. The Japanese controlled Kresinger's flick-on with a feathered touch before curling his chip over an awestruck Theo.

The win lost some of its lustre when a needless lunge by Hersi incurred a second yellow card and his dismissal. Berisha should have followed him as extra-time loomed for kicking out at Kresinger, but it mattered little to the result.


Mulvey expecting Broich to play

11 April 2013 16:53

Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey says Thomas Broich will almost certainly start in his side's sudden-death semi-final against Western Sydney.

Brisbane travel to Sydney on Friday morning, and Mulvey said his star player will be on the flight with the rest of the team, despite battling an ankle problem.

Broich trained away from his team-mates on Thursday morning, but completed a successful hour-long session with the team physiotherapist even though he is still suffering from heavy bruising around his left ankle.

Mulvey told reporters Broich would rule himself out if not fully fit, but would likely play on Friday night.

"I stand by my comments earlier in the week, I fully expect him to play," Mulvey said.

"He won't play unless he can play to his normal standards.

"Firstly he's an honest professional, and secondly we have an understanding within the group that we do what's best for the team and I'm sure that will prevail as far as Thomas is concerned.

"It's been a short turnaround. I imagine there'll still be some pain there but anybody that's played sport at a good level will know that everybody has knocks that you carry into games so I've got every confidence in him."

When asked if Broich would definitely make the trip to Parramatta with the Roar squad, Mulvey was unequivocal.

"There's no question in my mind, he's travelling, he's playing," he said.

Mulvey said the focus should not be entirely on the German midfielder, however, as his Roar side are capable of beating the Wanderers with or without Broich.

"We're not a one-man team," he said.

"The space we're in right now, we've got players who can come in and cover for him. I've got no problems with who steps up, because I'm sure they'll do a good job for us."

The Brisbane coach said that rather than being intimidated by the atmosphere at what will be a packed Parramatta Stadium, he and the Roar players were thrilled at the prospect.

"I'm excited about that," he said.

"It's going to be a fantastic atmosphere and if you're involved in football at a good level, you live for these moments.

"I've absolutely no qualms about that, I'm absolutely pumped myself, and I know the players are."

A-League table

# Team MP D P
4 16 +2 26
5 16 +2 22
6 16 -10 19
7 17 -6 16
8 17 -8 16

A-League table

# Team MP D P
6 16 -10 19
7 17 -6 16
8 17 -8 16
9 17 -17 16
10 16 -9 14