NPL 2 Wrap: Wanderers denied after injury time penalty

Mohamed Al-Taay

Western Sydney Wanderers NPL 2 first grade team have suffered a heartbreaking 3-3 draw against NWS Spirit on Saturday night.

An injury-time penalty for Spirit at Christie Park was a harsh way to end a game in which Western Sydney were so dominant.

It was a combative match-up at times as the sides ranked first and second refused to give an inch.

Wanderers eventually settled and grabbed control of proceedings, going close on numerous occasions.

The breakthrough finally came on the half-hour mark after Alessandro Lopane finished a mazy run with a pinpoint finish into the bottom far corner.

Goalkeeper Jack Warshawsky immediately proved his worth with a save after the restart and would continue popping up throughout the rest of the game with a safe pair of hands.

The away side were all set to go into the break with a lead but a defensive mishap saw the ball get behind the back four and into the path of Michael Konestabo who duly found the back of the net.

Undeterred, the Red & Black pushed onwards and over the next 20 minutes would do enough to almost win the match.

On the 53rd-minute mark Kosta Grozos popped up at the edge of the penalty area, flicking up a loose ball and firing into the back of the net with a powerful half volley.

The goal of the season contender was duly celebrated and Western Sydney had a spring in their step as they pushed for a third.

That arrived 12 minutes later from super-sub Reuben Awaritefe, the lanky striker displaying some quick feet before firing a lethal low shot into the left corner.

At 3-1 the game should have been over but the home side found something in the final 20 minutes as they bombarded Western Sydney’s defence.

Goffry Lino found the back of the net in the 87th minute before several minutes of injury time culminated in Kota Odakura going down after a strong tackle.

The referee ultimately pointed to the spot and Lino dispatched the penalty to give his side a share of the points.

A very unlucky result for Wanderers who deserved all three points after a strong performance away from home.

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Lopane 29’, Grozos 53’, Awaritefe 65’)
NWS Spirit 3 (Konestabo 45’, Lino 87’, 90+4’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Jack WARSHAWSKY (GK), 7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 4. Mohamed AL TAAY, 19. Bilal CHAHINE, 12. Nectarios TRIANTIS, 21. Isaac HOVAR, 13. Aiden MOSTOFI (16. George ANTONIS), 23. Kosta GROZOS, 14. Alessandro LOPANE (10. Reuben AWARITEFE), 29. Alexander BADOLATO (8. Joel BERTOLISSIO), 9. Ali AUGLAH
Unused subs: 36. Jack GIBSON (GK), 17. George DANIEL, 5. Rhys YOULLEY