Nothing separated the Wanderers and Roar with a draw at Parramatta tonight. In a trilling match keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Shinji Ono couldn’t have picked a tougher opponent than competition leaders Brisbane Roar to mark his last regular season home game with the Wanderers. Ono was up for the challenge and played a cracking game.
Brisbane Roar has dominated the league this season with the Premiership Plate already secured and hot favourites to secure their third Grand Final win which would be an A-League record.
The Wanderers controlled the game early, with a strong home crowd behind them. In addition to the pre game tribute to Ono (pictured) – fireworks, confetti and a contagious ‘Shinji Ono’ chant filled the stadium at the 21 minute.
However, the game turned around for Brisbane in the 34 minute with Liam Miller scoring the first goal of the match – Wanderland was silent.
Hope was restored in the second half with Tomi Juric levelling the scores from a Mark Bridge pass. Momentum changed in an instant with Western Sydney able to secure two shots on goal and a corner in less than 60 seconds after the restart. In the 74 minute Ono almost set off a perfect farewell goal sprinting away from the Brisbane defence but it wasn’t to be.
The final minutes was grand final quality with lots of chances for both sides. The Wanderers had the most but was not able to convert them into the much needed goal.
Ono got a very fitting standing ovation after being subbed out in the 90 minute.
Ono is heading back home to Japan at the end of the season. The Wanderers are currently undertaking a global search to find a replacement for Ono. Each A-league club is allowed one marquee player that is not included within the salary cap. With such a two successful seasons behind the club – a bigger budget is expected.
Next week, the Wanderers will have a much easier game next week against Melbourne Heart to secure a better position in the final series. The Heart are expected to put in a strong performance for Harry Kewell’s last A-League and Professional Football game.