Football 1 year ago

Wanderers prepared for Roar comeback alert

  • Wanderers prepared for Roar comeback alert

    BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Mitch Nichols of the Wanderers is penalised for this tackle on Brandon Borrello of the Roar during the round 22 A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium on March 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Nikolai Topor-Stanley has one message for his Western Sydney Wanderers teammates this week: play to the final whistle.

It's the kind of obvious almost cliched advice an under-8s coach might give his team, but it bears repeating ahead of their A-League grand final play-off against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Time and again, Brisbane have proved themselves as the competition's comeback kings - and the Wanderers know all too well what it's like to be on the receiving end of one of their trademark miracle wins.

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Twice before, the Roar have conjured up victories over Western Sydney from almost impossible situations.

The most famous was their 2-1 win in the 2014 A-League grand final, when late goals from Besart Berisha and Henrique stunned Tony Popovic's men when they were just minutes away from a maiden title.

The most recent was last month, when Jamie Maclaren and Dimi Petratos struck at the death to seal a valuable 3-2 win at Pirtek Stadium, the scene of this weekend's tantalising rematch.

And, just for good measure, the Roar did it again last week in their drama-filled elimination final win over Melbourne Victory, when Matt McKay and Thomas Broich scored with just minutes to go to cancel out Berisha's opener and set up another trip to Wanderland.

Topor-Stanley can only take his hat off to them.

"It's the mark of a good team," the Western Sydney skipper said on Wednesday.

"Even when things are going against them, when the clock's running out, they can still find the goals to win games.

"I've got plenty of respect for that.

"They've shown they're never down and out, they can come back from anything.

"We'll be up against it."

Midfielder Andreu, meanwhile, is looking forward to a match-up with Brisbane's engine room metronome Corona.

The diminutive 35-year-old has been one of the Roar's best this season but had a shocker last week, turning over the ball repeatedly against Victory.

Andreu expects it was a one-off.

"I played many times in Spain against him, here three times and now another one. He's one of the best midfielders in the A-League, 100 per cent," he said.

"He has incredible experience, incredible quality, very good skills and is very clever on the field. If we leave him alone he can move all game."

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