Football 3 years ago

Wanderers grind out FFA Cup win over Roar

  • Wanderers grind out FFA Cup win over Roar

A Golgol Mebrahtu strike was the difference as the Western Sydney Wanderers produced a typically gritty 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar in their FFA Cup round of 32 clash on Tuesday night.

In his first start for the club following major knee surgery last year, the winger grabbed the winner for the Asian champions midway through the second half when he slotted home from a Romeo Castelen lay-off.

But it was the defensive performance that will please coach Tony Popovic most as his side kept Brisbane's chances to a minimum.

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The two teams played out a nondescript first half as they attempted to assert their high-pressing, short-passing styles with limited success.

However, the final polish was missing for both teams.

Roar keeper Jamie Young clamoured to keep out a Mebrahtu header in the 12th minute, before Wanderers debutant Scott Jamieson cleared a Brandon Borrello shot off the line nine minutes later.

A final chance fell to Mebrahtu in first-half stoppage time, but he blasted the ball over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

For the Wanderers, new signing Andreu looked composed without ever dictating play, while Mebrahtu - in just his second competitive game back after tearing his ACL against Sydney FC last year - looked sprightly.

For Brisbane, Matt McKay zipped around the pitch with usual gusto and general Luke Brattan looked good in his new advanced position.

The Wanderers came out for the second half a different team, dominating proceedings and keeping the Roar caged in their own half.

The lively Mebrahtu produced a last-ditch tackle from Shane Stefanutto early in the half before forcing 'keeper Young into a fingertips save with a deflected drive.

But the Sudanese-born winger would not be denied on the third attempt, knocking the ball home in the 69th minute for a first club goal in his first start.

Midfielder Kearyn Baccus played a ball to substitute Romeo Castelen's feet, before the Dutchman laid the ball off to Mebrahtu to slot home from the left side of the box.

A missed Mark Bridge penalty in the 86th minute could have put the icing on the result, but Roar keeper Young produced a fine save to his left.

"That was so much better," said Geitz.

"To come off the performance that we did last time against the Silver Ferns then to put out that performance was very satisfying for us.

"Just to put the other night to bed and prove to ourselves what our style of game is, and when we play it, it is unbeatable."

Mentor said her team simply wasn't able to adjust to Australia's pace.

"I almost feel sorry, because the spectators were probably expecting a bit of a tighter match out there."

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