Thursday, 5 September 2013 9:23 AM
The Western Sydney Wanderers drew 2-2 today in an exciting encounter with Shimizu S-Pulse at Naihondaira Stadium.
First half goals from Tomi Juric and Kwabena Appiah saw the Wanderers go in 2-1 up at halftime.
The second half saw the Wanderers create a large number of chances but couldn’t extend their lead which proved costly as the J-1 team found the net late through Hattanda’s long range equaliser.
The biggest cheer of the night came with Shinji Ono’s assist for Appiah’s goal, with the home town hero controlling and shooting inside the box only for the keeper to palm the ball into the path of the speedy attacker.
Labinot Haliti, Juric and Appiah had the lion share of chances during the match with the Wanderers consistently creating openings in front of the 2,000 strong crowd.
The Wanderers created some exciting passages of play on the carpet like pitch and showed glimpse of how they won the Premiers’ Plate in their inaugural Hyundai A-League season.
While the Shimizu goalkeeper made some good saves, the Wanderers just could not find the net in the second half to lock-up the result.
And with the conditions testing due to the waves of torrential rain sweeping through the stadium, the Wanderers couldn’t hold out when a Hattanda strike from outside the area found the bottom left of substitute goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson’s net in the dying minutes of the match.
With 22 squad players getting valuable minutes, Wanderers Head Coach Tony Popovic was pleased with the hit out.
“It was good to play J-League opposition, a good experience for the boys and a good performance,” said Popovic.
“This provides much needed preparation not just for our season but also for our first ACL campaign – it gave a good taste for the group of how Asian opposition will play and get a feel for games under different conditions.
“The players all got valuable minutes, it was a good challenge and we move onto the next game in China.”
The Wanderers tomorrow travel to Guangzhou in China for a six day training camp and match against Guangzhou R&F.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Juric 25’, Appiah 44’)
Shimizu S-Pulse 2 (Murata 37’, Hattanda 87’)
4 September, 2013
Shimizu Nihondaira Stadium
NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers starting line-up: 1.Ante Covic (20.Jerrard Tyson 46’), 3. Adam D’Apuzzo (Nicholas Olsen 60’), 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Mateo Poljak 46’), 5. Michael Beauchamp (22.Dean Heffernan 46’), 6. Jerome Polenz (2.Shannon Cole 46’), 9. Tomi Juric (7.Labinot Haliti 46’), 10. Aaron Mooy (11.Brendan Santalab 60’), 14. Kwabena Appiah (17.Youssouf Hersi 46’), 18. Iacopo La Rocca (15.Jake McGing 60’), 19. Mark Bridge (12. Tahj Minniecon 60’), 21. Shinji Ono (23. Jason Trifiro 46’)
Substitute not used: 16. Martin Lo