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  • The Wanderers "farewelled" the reviled Spotless Showground with Markus Babbel attempting to spring a surprise on the league leaders with an usual squad list that put Majok at left fullback, but the subterfuge didn't last long after kick-off as it was clear Babbel had deployed a 3 at the back with Kamau & Majok acting as wing-backs.

    The early stages were quiet with no real action until the 7th minute as former Wanderer Chris Ikonomidis fired from a narrow angle that stung the palms of Vedran Janjetovic in the Wanderers goal. 15 minutes in and Jordon O'Doherty suffered a horror injury while he was attempting to defend deep in the Wanderers penalty area. The young midfielder stopped and propped, only for his knee to buckle underneath him. He left the game in a sorrowful mood, hands over his head while being taken off on a stretcher, replaced by Rashid Mahazi.

    Perth opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Ivan Franjic found Diego Castro in open space and with all the time in the world to deliver a cross. The former A-League player of the year found Ikonomidis at the near post unmarked after Keanu Baccus drifted away and Tass Mourdoukoutas failed to slide across in cover defence. It left a simple redirect of the ball past the right leg of Janjetovic.

    Seconds before half-time the Wanderers received a free kick a long way from goal and out wide. Roly Bonevacia lobbed in a cross toward the penalty spot that was well met by Oriol Riera, his header knocked down into the pitch only to be turned away by Liam Reddy.

    The Wanderers were better in the opening stages of the second half, but failed to convert their dominance into an equaliser. In fact, it was Perth who looked closer to scoring again, when Andy Keogh was put through on goal with Mourdoukoutas trailing and unable to catch the striker. Keogh shot to Janjetovic's left and the keeper made a great save to turn it away for a corner.

    Mitch Duke was bought on for Baumjohann and the young striker enthusiastically took to the task of helping his team level the game. He took a shot from a long way out that was applauded by the fans, then nodded on a header into the path of Riera for another shot at goal. Mark Bridge made his long awaited return to the field in the 76th minute, replacing Oriol Riera. Bridge has declared he will be retiring from the A-League at the end of the season.

    Bridge had his first shot in anger in the 87th minute, a toe poke on goal that was cancelled out by an offside flag, not that it mattered as Bridge fired wide. The Wanderers piled on the pressure in stoppage time, Russel launching a cross from deep that was just missed by the rising Duke and resulted in a blocked shot from Baccus.

    Just as the home crowd thought they were going home empty handed, Abraham Majok took the ball down at the edge of the Perth penalty area, he found Tarek Elrich with a backpass, and Elrich fired the ball immediately. Mitch Duke flung himself at the ball but achieved a deception of Liam Reddy, he was beaten by the flight of the ball and it nestled into the back of the net for a last second 1-1 equaliser.

    The point was well deserved for the Wanderers who kept applying themselves despite a lack of luck and going behind early, their commitment shone through particularly when Mitch Duke took to the pitch and in comparison to earlier in the season, the Wanderers hung in the game, kept compact enough at the back to avoid giving away a match sealing second for Perth and Tarek took his chance well.

    The draw sees Western Sydney on a 3 game unbeaten run, and they will face Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next Friday.



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