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Wanderers Cling To Finals Hopes


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The Wanderers faced Brisbane Roar in a must-win game to keep what small hope of playing in the A-League finals in Parramatta on Sunday, completing a 2-0 win over a gallant but overmatched Brisbane Roar as Bernie Ibini & Bruce Kamau secured all three points.

Carl Robinson looked to turn around the Wanderers 3 game losing streak by making three changes. Mark Natta was replaced by Tass Mourdoukoutas, Tate Russell was dropped for Daniel Wilmering with Aquilina shifting to right fullback. As Mitch Duke departed the club following his national team call up & end of his loan spell his spot in the lineup was filled by Bernie Ibini. Brisbane had to rotate their squad and made four changes including starlet Dylan Wenzel-Halls suffering from an ingrown toenail coming out and dropping to the bench in favour of Alex Parsons.

The first chance of the game fell to Bernie Ibini, he was played through the middle in on goal but couldn't get free of the defence and his shot was easily blocked. The second chance was for Bruce Kamau moments later, who was played in by Keanu Baccus, looking offside in the live action, he finished well past Jamie Young but after a quick VAR review the goal was cancelled out. Brisbane had their own similar chance as Wilmering was caught ouf of position, a turnover exposed the space in the left flank and Riku Danzaki ran onto the ball, attempted a lob over the top of Daniel Margush but he stuck out the hand and knocked it over the bar.

Brisbane began a counter-attack in the 16th minute, Joey Champness finding Danzaki in the middle, who moved it on to Parsons. After standing up Ziggy Gordon he fired through, getting a slight deflection that had Margush worried for a moment before he dealt with the shot by turning it aside for a corner.

Jamie Young had to adjust quickly when Graham Dorrans cut onto his favoured right foot and blasted a long range shot that flew off the feet of Macaulay Gillesphey, the keeper quickly moving his feet to leap at and turn behind the shot. The corner somehow fell past everyone into the 6 yard box but none of the attackers were in the right spot and the Roar cleared it away. Young was on the spot again when Steven Ugarkovic launched an incredible ball over the top on the turn, Baccus had broken the front line coming deep from the midfield but couldn't get the ball over or around the onrushing Young.

The Wanderers finally found the goal their play deserved in the 27th minute. Aquilina carried the ball into the Roar half, he found Ibini outside the edge of the penalty area, he turned, and with no closing down coming from the Brisbane defence he fired a speculative shot from the tge of the area, he was perfectly placed and powerful enough that Jamie Young was well beaten to make the score 1-0.

Seconds before half-time Danzaki had yet another identical chance, receiving the ball on the right from Parsons, cutting side and shooting. Margush dived early, perhaps mislead by a deflection but kept his boot out just enough to stop what would have been a cruel equaliser. The last action of the half came as former Wanderer Scott Neville's right footed, fierce strike from a long way out had Margush beaten but not the near post, hammering the camera position behind the goal.

Wilmering came off at half-time for Russell, a tactical switch for a player on a yellow card with Aquilina going back to his usual left fullback position. A minute into the half the Wanderers went on the attack, Ibini took advantage of a slip from Corey Brown to play in Baccus who got around the defence only to slip over himself as the ball rolled toward the byline. The game eased into a slower tempo than the first half, but one that the Wanderers dominated. On the hour mark Dorrans and Ibini both had shots blocked away, Ibini having a golden chance after a corner that was played short that the Roar couldn't clear away. His left footed volley went wide. Keanu Baccus put the ball in the back of the net after tangling with the defence and knocking it past Young with his knee but the offside flag went up and ruled it out.

Tass Mourdoukoutas cut out a ball into the box with a diving stretch, Aquilina then began a lightning attack after beating two defenders with the ball and changing the point of attack with a diagonal ball for Russell. He played in Ibini and his cutback needed the block from the Roar to prevent a tap-in for Baccus. 15 minutes to go and the Roar should have equalised. A diagonal cross found Danazki, he nodded it into the path of substitute Cyrus Dehmie, with McGowan tripping over it looked like Dehmie would burst the back of the net only to have Gordon & Mourdoukoutas to fly in from the sides to make a vital block. Kamau then tore through the Roar defence, skipping past three attackers then shooting on his left, wide at the far post.

Margush had to go down low to his left once again with Dehmie staying on his feet and shooting low to the near post. From the resulting corner Jay O'Shea recovered the clearance and then won another corner on the far side. The next corner was blocked on the line by Dorrans, and the third Neville just outjumped Gordon but hit his header wide. With Mourdoukoutas down hurt on the turf Roar somehow managed to miss equalising. With the empty space left defending against 10 men, Rahmat Akbari played in Kai Trewin, his cross found Danzaki and he somehow conspired to mishit the tap-in under the pressure of Russell and also managed to avoid rebounding it off one of the Wanderers for an own goal.

After threatening all game to score, Kamau made Neville look amateur to give the Wanderers a 2-0 lead. Picking up the ball deep inside the Roar half Kamau bought the ball down from his chest, found a stop-start dribble to get around Neville and lofted the ball over the the right shoulder of Young before running off to celebrate with the fans behind the goal. The Roar threw numbers forward late including the keeper going forward for several corners but nothing came from them after 6 minutes of stoppage time. Supporters of the Red & Black would be wondering where performances like that were all season long rather than when the season was on the line. The win was the minimum required to keep the finals hopes alive, and the team were boosted by the 2-2 draw between Wellington & Perth earlier in the day. The next result that needs to go the way of the Wanderers is that Macarthur cannot win their game on Monday night against Western United.

The Wanderers final game of the regular A-League season is against Adelaide United in Adelaide on Thursday June 3rd with kick-off at 7:35pm Sydney time.


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2 minutes ago, mack said:

 Supporters of the Red & Black would be wondering where performances like that were all season long rather than when the season was on the line.

This

Good win but we have left it too late tbh.

 

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10 minutes ago, pseudonym said:

yyeeewwww!!!!

Cop that Meow! :woah:

Yeah, decent win, but would rather have their ladder position. Hard to feel they won’t have the last laugh.

Hoping WU will do us a favour really is desperation stuff. I said a week or two back that there is no saying next season roster will be as good as this, hard to think Kamau will still be here.

A criminally wasted season for mine.

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Great win.

Unfortunately more of a stutter in our journey down the ladder, than real genuine hope of a top 6 placing

And that is gutting as you can't help think of all the games we should have won and let slip away

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4 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

Yeah, decent win, but would rather have their ladder position. Hard to feel they won’t have the last laugh.

Hoping WU will do us a favour really is desperation stuff. I said a week or two back that there is no saying next season roster will be as good as this, hard to think Kamau will still be here.

A criminally wasted season for mine.

All completely true

Apart from Sydney, I consider Brisbane to be our rivals (built up over several finals matches)

So any win over them feels good

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Posted (edited)

Regarding the game though, my brief thoughts are as follows:

* Best first half we have played all season. We played some sublime football.

* Margush was awesome.

* McGowan stood up for a change and defended well. Ziggy was a beast. Tass was also good in defense but let himself down with his distribution out of the back. Natta is better at this. In saying all that, our defence still looked dodgy at times.

* Kamau - what can one say. He was excellent - again. Shame that we may lose him.

* No RBB again. Surely, a huge sign to the club that they need to sort this shite out. Atmosphere on tv was dead. 

* CR got the lads up for this game. Credit due

* Fox commentators were more than fair tonight to both sides. Too little, too late.

 

Anyway, I'm happy for the win. One of the few highlights of the season. I enjoyed watching that game.

 

 

Edited by Wanderboy
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https://www.wswanderersfc.com.au/video/robinson-we-were-top-every-aspect-press-conference-a-league

 

Some interesting comments in this one. Spoke about our set piece issue is likely a personnel problem and he'll have to bring in players that are better at defending them. Also clarified his leadership comments pre-match and said he was referring to the fact that we have no vocal leaders who aren't scared to get into teammates faces and tell them when they're doing something wrong and he wants to address that.

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2 hours ago, Wanderboy said:

Regarding the game though, my brief thoughts are as follows:

* Best first half we have played all season. We played some sublime football.

* Margush was awesome.

* McGowan stood up for a change and defended well. Ziggy was a beast. Tass was also good in defense but let himself down with his distribution out of the back. Natta is better at this. In saying all that, our defence still looked dodgy at times.

* Kamau - what can one say. He was excellent - again. Shame that we may lose him.

* No RBB again. Surely, a huge sign to the club that they need to sort this shite out. Atmosphere on tv was dead. 

* CR got the lads up for this game. Credit due

* Fox commentators were more than fair tonight to both sides. Too little, too late.

 

Anyway, I'm happy for the win. One of the few highlights of the season. I enjoyed watching that game.

 

 

frustrating that we can play like today, this squad should be in the 4 not as it is looking like missing the 6

For mine the Parklea Messi was ace

I'm still not giving up hope, if we can beat Adelaide maybe results will fall for us

 

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10 hours ago, wswnick said:

https://www.wswanderersfc.com.au/video/robinson-we-were-top-every-aspect-press-conference-a-league

 

Some interesting comments in this one. Spoke about our set piece issue is likely a personnel problem and he'll have to bring in players that are better at defending them. Also clarified his leadership comments pre-match and said he was referring to the fact that we have no vocal leaders who aren't scared to get into teammates faces and tell them when they're doing something wrong and he wants to address that.

Was an interesting presser there is a lot to like about him. The game today was a glimmer of hope too, assuming we don’t make 6 there was a bit in that to give hope that he can build something next season

The annoying bit was when asked was there anything done wrong in the season, in his long reply there was nothing that he did wrong

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Great Job by the team defence still very clumsy 

Some great performances Baccus was my pick with Mourdakutis second and Kamau.

Dorrans Ugarkovic and Baccus are looking good for next year and as much as criticise we Ibini he did his job and got a goal and also put roars defence under pressure often.

Robbo has stood up and accepted the failing of the team and himself and is confident he can take us forward.

Mourdakutis was very strong and saved wilmerings butt a few times in the first half and he added some height in the corners against us as did Ibini.

Sadly Wilmering as a defender is not cutting it, he was caught upfield to often. My guess is he will struggle with a new contract unless he can work his way into a new playing position , he does have talent no doubt.

 

   

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The only thing I take from this game is that CR has little to no idea what makes his system tick.

BR is one of the form teams and we just had a solid footballing performance against them. Robbo has no clue how to replicate these performances consistently.

Baccus has real potential higher up the pitch. He’s very slippery and actually presses with the two forwards. It also mitigates his massive brain snaps up there too

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14 hours ago, Wanderboy said:

* Fox commentators were more than fair tonight to both sides. Too little, too late.

Maybe I am showing my own bias, but I sense pain in Harper when he feels obliged to say something positive about the Wanderers. We were dominating field position and possession in the first half, which made us occasionally susceptible to counter attacks. Harper was over praising the Roars counter attacks implying that the contest was even. The game was not unlike a Sydney derby, where SFC dominate possession and the Wanderers look to hit on the counter. Does Harper describe the performance of the counter attacking Roar and Wanderers the same way? I can't wait until I've heard his last call of a Wanderers game.

And how about the strong protest from Harper because the flag did not go up early on Baccus for Kamau's disallowed goal. Harper grossly exaggerated the distance that Baccus was offside by, in a reflex reaction outburst brought on by the severe displeasure at the thought that Wanderers nearly got an early goal. He also showed no interest in seeing a replay of the quickly decided disallowed goal off Baccus's knee. I guarantee that if it were Sydney FC he'd be crying "where's the replay". 

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Very frustrating result because finals are essentially gone, but we actually contained the Roar front 3 in general apart from that golden chance Danzaki butchered.

Glad for the win but geez only Wanderers can go from smashing someone to getting smashed themselves to another victory just to lose again the week after.

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11 hours ago, Frankos187 said:

Baccus, Ugarkovic and Dorrans ran the show. Kamau needs a new contract asap. I cant believe we are behind them in points based on the game today.

 

Not sure if I saw Ugarkovic walk through the game at all....

Ugarkovic was really good in this game. He was doing the majority of the defence splitting passes up the middle in the first half that lead to very promising attacks on goal. The presence of Ugarkovic allowed Dorrans to get forward a lot too. The midfield trio with Baccus was awesome to watch. I just have to contain my enthusiasm a little though as too many times I've seen promising combinations that turn out to be one hit wonders (or one game wonders).

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6 minutes ago, JustWandering said:

Maybe I am showing my own bias, but I sense pain in Harper when he feels obliged to say something positive about the Wanderers. We were dominating field position and possession in the first half, which made us occasionally susceptible to counter attacks. Harper was over praising the Roars counter attacks implying that the contest was even. The game was not unlike a Sydney derby, where SFC dominate possession and the Wanderers look to hit on the counter. Does Harper describe the performance of the counter attacking Roar and Wanderers the same way? I can't wait until I've heard his last call of a Wanderers game.

And how about the strong protest from Harper because the flag did not go up early on Baccus for Kamau's disallowed goal. Harper grossly exaggerated the distance that Baccus was offside by, in a reflex reaction outburst brought on by the severe displeasure at the thought that Wanderers nearly got an early goal. He also showed no interest in seeing a replay of the quickly decided disallowed goal off Baccus's knee. I guarantee that if it were Sydney FC he'd be crying "where's the replay". 

With some FOX commentators you have to listen with the knowledge that while the lips on their mouths may be moving it's the ones on their butt that are doing the talking.

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1 hour ago, Keithie said:

Sadly Wilmering as a defender is not cutting it, he was caught upfield to often. My guess is he will struggle with a new contract unless he can work his way into a new playing position , he does have talent no doubt.

He's statistically the worst of our three main fullbacks, but he's been caught upfield all game because if he doesn't go upfield we have no width. And the problem we had, letting Danzaki get in our left channel didn't stop because he got subbed off. He's already got the new contract though, he's here the next two seasons after this.

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Tactically we were no better or worse than previous performances, today the difference was from the outset we wanted to win the game, we chased down everything, we harassed, we looked like we cared and we got the result.  For all the constant talk about a back 3 or 4 or 5 or the firepower or lack of penetration up front the reality is in a salary capped league everyone is fairly even and the positions on the table are determined by how badly teams want to win, the positioning of important players and that little bit of X factor class. 

Frustratingly this season it will come to nothing, but all those who liked Gombau or Babbell surely have to question why they both decided Kamau was a fullback.  Bacchus caused more damage in a forward position in 70mins than he has in 2 seasons of playing in front of the back 3 (and his errant passes which will happen, he is still a kid, don't seem to be as damaging).  He also seemed to give us an option to play through teams which we have not has in a long while.

So for me jury still out on CR, with the talent in that squad we should not be in this position but also the players have to take responsibility as well, you are a professional it should not take a rev up from a manager for you to do your job.  I hope they stick with CR, not because I think he is a good manager as yet but I couldn't be assed going through another rebuild and with Gordon, Ugarkovic and another year under their belts for Margush, Russell. Aquilina, Bacchus we will be better for it.  cant see Kamau staying, Europe and Asia are calling.

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5 hours ago, Keithie said:

Sadly Wilmering as a defender is not cutting it, he was caught upfield to often. My guess is he will struggle with a new contract unless he can work his way into a new playing position , he does have talent no doubt.

He's signed till '23

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I reckon another difference between right and left tonight was 'Joey C' was more contained and Ziggy had that job.  So Danzaki became the go to up front and it was either Tass or Wilmering had to do it.  The right side was covered well and allowed Aquilina/Tate to get forward more and stay there.  Having said that, Aquilina probably has a little more runningin him.

They missed Wenzel-Halls (and so did Fox Commentary).  He adds something - a bit of speed and chaos to deal with.  They also lost Aldred at the back.

I htought it was the best game so far for Dorrans and Ugarkovic - they really worked well and were higher up the park.  McGowan (sometimes Tass or Ziggy) came forwad into a holding midfield role when the ball was up the park.  There was more movement from our boys.

I thought there was a strong maturity in the last few minutes - the addition of Mutch, Troisi, McDonald showed how to hold the ball up and control the game rather than our somewhat typical last minutes of chaos. 

Kamau was good but a yard slower and didn't look up a lot of the game - he grew back into the form he's been in later in the game. Margush was really good! He made some quality saves and is only getting stronger.  He is starting to take more control in the 6-yard box.  He really has a good future if he continues this path.

It was a strong performance against a team in form and shows what we can do.  Shame it hasn't been consistent.

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It must have been a hell of a performance in the first hour cause I caught the last 30 mins and we basically defended for most of it, besides Bruce’s goal. Wasn’t bad but wasn’t amazing either.

If Brisbane could string a bit of form together longer than 3-4 games then I reckon they could rival Melbourne City. They must be the only team more frustrating to follow than WSW lol

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, hughsey said:

It must have been a hell of a performance in the first hour cause I caught the last 30 mins and we basically defended for most of it, besides Bruce’s goal. Wasn’t bad but wasn’t amazing either.
 

Yep....best first half performance of the season by a mile. Pity it had to happen when we are basically a lost cause though. Will be stoked if we make the finals but tbh we really don't deserve it.

Edited by sonar
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7 minutes ago, sonar said:

Yep....best first half performance of the season by a mile. Pity it had to happen when we are basically a lost cause though. Will be stoked if we make the finals but tbh we really don't deserve it.

I guess the best thing about that performance is that it gives hope for the future, even if it was too little, too late (as a few others have observed).

Based on that performance, you'd be happy to give the manager and all who played another chance for next season.

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4 minutes ago, wendybr said:

I guess the best thing about that performance is that it gives hope for the future, even if it was too little, too late (as a few others have observed).

Based on that performance, you'd be happy to give the manager and all who played another chance for next season.

I am not suggesting that you are saying that one decent game fixes everything, but yeah, we shall see.

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2 minutes ago, wendybr said:

I guess the best thing about that performance is that it gives hope for the future, even if it was too little, too late (as a few others have observed).

Based on that performance, you'd be happy to give the manager and all who played another chance for next season.

Short answer......No........I've said in a previous post that I believe CR will be here next season.....I don't think he deserves it though. 

This squad should of been a shoe-in for top four. Too many poor performances when it really mattered. Sticking to a formation that some players struggled with. Not changing tactics when it was required. Poor set piece defence. Leaving it too late with subs......etc.

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