Wanderers player Mitchell Nichols competes with the Roar's Jade North.
Wanderers player Mitchell Nichols competes with the Roar's Jade North. DAVE HUNT

Roar progresses after epic clash finishes in shootout

BRISBANE Roar are a win away from a fourth A-League grand final appearance in seven years after beating Western Sydney Wanderers 6-5 in a penalty shootout at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar will meet Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday week for a spot in the decider.

Goalkeeper Jamie Young was the hero for the Roar in the shootout, saving Wanderers midfielder Jumpei Kusukami's penalty with the shootout at sudden death and poised 6-5 in Roar's favour.

Young had come in the first half of extra time for Michael Theo, who was forced off with a leg injury after a collision with Wanderers star Terry Antonis.

Brisbane's success also keeps the departing Thomas Broich's Roar career alive for at least another match.

The Wanderers finished the match with 10 men after substitute Jaushua Sotirio was sent off for his second bookable offence in extra time after a late challenge on Corey Brown.

Scores were locked at 1-1 at the end of normal time and extra-time.

After being disappointed with his side's first-half display, Brisbane coach John Aloisi was delighted with the Roar's response for the remainder of the contest.

"We spoke about it at half-time what we didn't do well, and then in the second half and extra-time we were all over them," Aloisi said.

"We created so many chances.


Wanderers player Terry Antonis (left) reacts with Scott Neville after Antonis scored a penalty.
Wanderers player Terry Antonis (left) reacts with Scott Neville after Antonis scored a penalty. DAVE HUNT

"You have to have a bit of luck to win a penalty shootout but the luck went our way because we were very good after that first half."

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic could not fault the effort of his players.

"They were fantastic," he said.

"It's a shame (Sotirio) got sent off because we could see that his fresh legs and speed was hurting Brisbane.

"It was very difficult after that. You've got tired bodies and we lacked that spark."

\Earlier, Western Sydney started the better, and would have taken the lead in the sixth minute if not for the heroics of Theo.

The veteran gloveman produced a remarkable double save to deny Brendon Santalab and Nico Martinez.

Martinez had another chance three minutes later but dragged his shot wide after creating the opportunity with some brilliant skill on the edge of the penalty area.

The Roar's first chance came in the 12th minute when a Broich corner found Jade North totally unmarked in the penalty area.

But North directed his header straight at teammate Jamie Maclaren, with the ball rolling away from the danger zone.

The Wanderers took the lead in first-half stoppage time after Avraam Papadopoulos brought down Brendon Santalab in the penalty area.

Referee Jarred Gillett pointed to the spot, with Antonis converting despite Theo getting his hands to the ball before it hit the back of the net.

The Roar equalised in the 55th minute through Maclaren.

It came from a swift Brisbane counter-attack, with Broich feeding Brandon Borrello, whose shot hit the base of the post.

The rebound fell invitingly for Maclaren, who netted his 20th goal of the season.

The Roar should have hit the front in the 76th minute. Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic couldn't hold a Brett Holman shot, with the loose ball eventually falling for Borrello.

But Borrello couldn't direct his shot past Wanderers defender Scott Neville, who cleared the ball off the line.

Borrello had another chance to win the game in the 89th minute after being picked out superbly by Broich.

But his shot was saved by Janjetovic before it hit the crossbar twice.

The Wanderers then had the opportunity to win the match, when a Santalab stoppage-time cross found Sotirio in a dangerous position.

But with only keeper Theo to beat, Sotirio's effort sailed over the bar.

The Roar made two changes to the side that started in their 4-3 round 27 win over Wellington Phoenix.

They were both back four alterations. The fit-again North replaced Cameron Crestani at right back, while Corey Brown, who was rested against the Phoenix to avoid a potential finals suspension, was re-instated at left back in place of Tommy Oar.

The Wanderers returned to full strength after resting a host of players the previous week in their 2-2 draw with Adelaide United.

They made eight changes, with Mitch Nichols, Brendon Santalab, Scott Neville, Jumpei Kusukami, Kearyn Baccus, Terry Antonis, Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Nico Martinez recalled to the starting 11.

News Corp Australia

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