Another second half slump was enough for the Western Sydney Wanderers to drop points against Wellington Phoenix tonight.
In a near carbon copy of the draw against Adelaide earlier this week, the Wanderers were well on top early, and cemented their advantage with the opening goal in the 28th minute. Having won a free kick on the right wing, Raul Llorente fired in a cross to the edge of the penalty area. The ball bounced off a number of players then dropped down in front of Brendon Santalab. The talismanic striker shaped up and fired at goal with a side foot volley that had Lewis Italiano with pace. Not long after Oriol Riera nearly doubled the advantage with a looping header that Italiano tipped over the bar.
Wellington manager Marco Kurz made a brace of changes at half-time, introducing Matija Ljujic and Nathan Burns and the change paid dividends. Roly Bonevacia lost out to Andrew Durante inside the Wanderers half, the ball rolled to Ljujic, with a gaping midfield hole in front of him and none of the Wanderers defenders closing him down the Serbian midfielder took a couples of touches to setup the long range strike of some 25 yards that blew past Janjetovic's right hand.
Brendan Hamill put the Wanderers position under further threat with an idiotic decision to hold a Wellington attacker when he had Michael Thwaite backing him up. Having been booked earlier, the second yellow was followed by a red and Hamill walked off the pitch leaving his side a man down.
Wellington arguably should have won the game in stoppage time, Matthew Ridenton broke the Wanderers offside trap and with two of his team-mates begging for a cutback Ridenton elected to bring the ball back onto his left and fired in a tame strike at goal.
The draw does nothing for the Wanderers position on the tale, as they will finish in 6th place regardless of the result of the Melbourne vs Perth game tonight. The Wanderers face Melbourne Victory on Friday the 19th of January.