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  • The Western Sydney Wanderers headed out to Campbelltown Stadium for the first time as the away side, hoping to avenge the Round 1 loss at the hands of Macarthur FC, and came away with an entertaining 2-2 draw with goals from Graham Dorrans & Simon Cox.

    Tass Mourdoukoutas and Nicolai Muller were out through injury and replaced in the starting lineup by Patrick Ziegler and Simon Cox respectively. Ivan Franjic had an early strike, a long range effort on his left foot that refused to dip and so sailed over the crossbar. Franjic was in the action after 10 minutes when he played a ball across the face of goal that beat Margush, but Ziggy Gordon stuck a toe in that knocked the ball out and was rewarded by the officials missing the touch and giving a goal kick.

    The 20 minutes of dominance for Macarthur paid off from a corner. With no-one in the expected defensive position on the corner of the 6 yard box, Aleksandar Jovanovic flicked the ball on at the near post and beat Margush to make it 1-0. The Wanderers built into the game slowly and by the half-hour mark had managed to get a few tepid attacks and a measure of possession. Franjic added to his action packed start by being yellow carded for taking out a Wanderers attacker.

    5 minutes before half-time Tate Russell found himself on the right flank with one opponent, he twirled through a couple of stepovers then fired on his left foot towards the far corner, forcing Adam Federici into a full stretch diving save.

    With almost the last kick of the half the Wanderers just barely escaped going two behind. A lofted ball over the top found Matt Derbyshire and he smashed it past Margush. The offside flag was raised and confirmed by VAR as correct by what must have been inches. The 1-0 half-time score was barely deserved by the Wanderers, the midfield had been over-run, the passing was all over the shop, crossing was coming in too low or far too high and wayward and the side had only managed a single shot on target in 45 minutes.

    In the 51st minute the Wanderers turned defence into attack with Graham Dorrans. The Wanderers Captain scrapped to win the ball after it was cleared from the box, and he saw Federici a mile off his line, took a touche for composure and lobbed the keeper with a perfectly weighted shot to make it 1-1.

    The scores weren't level for long. Macarthur's set piece weapons came forward for another corner and this time it wasn't the Wanderers scoring. Aleksandar Susnjar towered over Ziegler at the far post and he made no mistake with the header, crashing it through Margush, who would be disappointed that he stuck himself on the goal line instead of coming out to punch.

    It should have been 2-2 in the 67th minute. Neat interplay released James Troisi onto the left wing, and he found the newly introduced Bruce Kamau with a wonderful low cross. Kamau should have put away the chance but Federici managed to get a hand to slow the ball as it trickled towards the line. An almighty scramble resulted with the ball being pushed off the line by the keeper, Cox smashed the rebound into a tangle of players on the line then Russell fired the ball into the crossbar.

    Western Sydney kept pushing and they did have the equaliser with a spectacular assist followed by a simple header from Simon Cox. From a corner the Bulls left Baccus unmarked and his remarkable "scorpion kick" back heel found Simon Cox lurking at the back post, and he had the simplest of headers to nod the ball down into the goal for 2-2. The Wanderers had the better of the final stages but both sides were throwing caution to the wind, giving up chances at each end but neither side could find the final killing blow and they shared a point each. The match saw a terrible first half from the Wanderers but a vastly improved second and the point was the least they deserved from the contest.

    The Wanderers have a quick turn around and face last placed Melbourne Victory at Parramatta on Wednesday 10th February. Kick-off at 7:05pm.



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