A late comeback by the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers ensured they shared the points against Melbourne City in a match they deserved to win.
Kerem Bulut scored what looked to have been the winner for the Wanderers in the second half but the assistant referee adjudged the striker to be offside.
With the Red & Black still upset at the no-goal decision, Tim Cahill went down the other end of the field to open the scoring for Melbourne City.
It took a 91st minute goal for the Wanderers to equalise with a brilliant Jack Clisby cross knocked into the net. Lachlan Scott has been credited with the goal but it will likely be changed on review to a Neil Kilkenny own goal.
The match started well for the home team with the Wanderers’ looking to have patched up their defence with a strong early display.
Having established a strong platform, they soon began to attack and could have had a Melbourne defender sent off after he took out Jumpei with only space between the winger and the goal.
The always dangerous Nicolás Martínez was breezing through the City defence in the first half and had a chance himself, as did Bulut and Scott Neville before half time.
Goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson, making his home debut in his third season with the club, also made a save with the crowd singing his name loud and proud.
Bulut started the second half even more electric than the first: firstly forcing Osama Malik into a yellow card before scoring his first goal of the season and celebrating with the RBB.
Unfortunately, the assistant referee’s flag went up to disallow the goal. It was a tough pill to swallow for a striker who had given his all throughout the contest.
Salt was rubbed into the wound only moments later as Melbourne City took a lead that the Wanderers deserved. It was a nice touch from Cahill as he put the ball into the net.
Despite having three U20 players on the pitch and falling 1-0 behind to one of the best teams in the competition, the Wanderers kept fighting and they got their reward.
In injury time, Clisby collected the ball, delivered a cross into the box which forced – under pressure from Academy graduate Lachlan Scott – the ball into the back of the net via Neil Kilkenny’s leg.
A 1-1 draw was the least the Wanderers deserved after such a performance against one of the high flying teams. It was an indication of the type of football and performances that this group of players can put together.
The Red & Black remains in Western Sydney next week as they take on Brisbane Roar on Friday night at Spotless Stadium. It is the club’s annual White Ribbon match with fans encouraged to wear white.
Kick-off is at 7:50pm.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Own Goal 90’+1)
Melbourne City 1 (Tom Cahill 55’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Jerrad Tyson (GK), Scott Neville, Aritz Borda, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Jack Clisby, Bruno Piñatares (Kearyn Baccus), Dimas (C), Mitch Nichols, Nicolás Martínez, Jumpei (Jaushua Sotirio), Kerem Bulut (Lachlan Scott)
Unused subs: Andrew Redmayne (GK), Brendan Hamill