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Perth Glory 2-2 Western Sydney Wanderers: Both Wests Are Best Wests

Nikolai Topor-Stanley of the Wanderers and Chris Harold of the Glory contest a header during the round 11 A-League match between the Perth Glory and the Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium on December 19, 2015 in Perth, Australia. December 19, 2015| Credit: Paul Kane

We called this scoreline earlier this week on The Stoppage Time. You’re welcome. Kenny Lowe‘s Perth Glory Football Club and Tony Popovic‘s Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club played to a feisty 2-2 draw at nib Stadium in Perth, Western Australia.

Early on in the first half, the Glory were a feisty bunch and wanted to get in on the action. Diego Castro, the hero from the match against the now-struggling Melbourne Victory, won a penalty in the second minute of play, and he slotted it home to get the Shed swaying their arms for a 1-0 lead. In the fifth minute, a free kick from the attacking third of the Wanderers missed all the white shirts lurking in the box.

The next several minutes were a ball possession chess match, Western Sydney chasing an equalizer. Dario Vidosic had a shocking first touch in the 12th minute that killed off a great sequence from the Wanderers. On defense, Perth’s Joshua Risdon continued his role sweeping the attack. A corner in the 18th minute was nearly dialed in by Michael Thwaite, but Perth’s second goal would have to wait.

On the other hand, Western Sydney didn’t have to wait too long for their first. Small ball works, if you know how to run it correctly. Brendon Santalab finally equalized in the 20th minute off a short corner to make it 1-1. With the goal, the tempo and intensity of the contest began to deservedly lift. Both teams were in search of the breakthrough goal.

Mitchell Oxborrow was cautioned in the 22nd minute and Hagi Gligor got into the book in the 44th minute. The Wanderers were looking to be that team but they were giving up acres of space and gave the hosts some outlets to pass. No further goals would be scored in the first half.

Early on in the second half, Chris Harold came into the match as did the youngster Jamal Reiners, the latter of whom was looking to replicate his magic from the last match. As for the Wanderers, Romeo Castelen was an option off the bench and had the skills to be a difference maker. Alex Grant was cautioned in the 49th minute for a challenge.

In the 54th minute, the aforementioned Reiners broke loose but was mugged in the box. Castelen came in for Jaushua Sotirio in the 57th minute of play. A dangerous corner a minute later was butchered by Nichols. Mitchell Oxborrow, a player that went off the radar scored at the hour mark with a screamer that hit the top right corner to make it 2-1 Perth. Alberto Aguilar was booked for delaying a restart in the 65th minute, the Wanderers once again forced to give chase.

Italian Federico Piovaccari came in for Santalab in the 68th minute to bring in an offensive spark. Andreu Mayoral entered the book in the 70th minute for fouling Castro and would not be available for the next match. Oxborrow then came out for Richard Garcia. Aryn Williams made a point-blank clearance in the 79th minute. Risdon entered the book seconds later. In the 81st minute, Mitch Nichols delivered the second equalizer to make it 2-2 and cue the push for a grandstand finish in front of a very sparse crowd in the West, and nib Stadium.

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The up-and-comer Kearyn Baccus came in for Jacob Pepper in the 82nd minute of play. Nikolai Topor-Stanley could have been sent off via the DOGSO rule in the 84th minute but referee Jarred Gillett showed restraint. The aforementioned Piovaccari crashed into the net after failing to final a delivery on the right side in the 87th minute. Williams again came in the clutch in the 88th minute, bailing out Ante Covic off the line. Castro was the last person to be booked, in the second minute of second half stoppage time.

Perth Glory Player Ratings

Ante Covic 6, Joshua Risdon 5.5, Aryn Williams 9, Alex Grant 5.5, Michael Thwait 6, Mitchell Oxborrow 7.5, Diogo Ferreira 6, Hagi Gligor 5.5, Joseph Knowles 5, Diego Castro 7.5, Gyorgy Sandor 6, Jamael reiners 4, Richard Garcia 4, Chris Harold 4

Western Sydney Wanderers Player Ratings

Andrew Redmayne 6, Scott Jamieson 6, Scott Neville 6, Alberto Aguilar 5.5, Nikolai Topor Stanley 7, Andreu Mayoral 5.5, Mitch Nichols 8, Jacob Pepper 5,  Brendon Santalab 8, Jaushua Sotirio 6, Dario Vidosic 5, Romeo Castelen 4, Federico Piovaccari 3, Kearyn Baccus NR

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