It was one of the most astonishing, entertaining and frankly ridiculous Hyundai A-League Finals Series games of all time. And this Friday night, roughly a year later, we get the rematch.
One year on, we relive last year’s extraordinary Finals Series clash between Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium.
ROARING OUT OF THE BLOCKS
Brisbane went bang, bang, bang.
Dimi Petratos opened the scoring with a 16th minute penalty, before the man who had given it away – Spanish defender Andreu – completed a miserable first 20 minutes by scoring a comical own-goal.
Jamie Maclaren made it 3-0 inside 24 minutes with a deflected effort.
3-0 DOWN, 4-3 UP
Enter Western Sydney’s Dutch saviour, Romeo Castelen.
First, he blasted in a free-kick to get Wanderers on the board.
Then, after Brendon Santalab had reduced the deficit to 3-2 at half-time, the Dutchman equalised, firing into the roof of the net from close range.
And he had his hat-trick after 59 minutes, unleashing a brilliant volley from outside the box to give his side a scarcely believable lead.
RECOVERY LED BY ROAR RESERVES
A shell-shocked Brisbane went to the bench to find a way back into a game they must have thought they had in the bag.
Substitutes Hervas and Tommy Oar combined to release another replacement Henrique down the left.
His scuffed shot rolled across the face of goal perfectly into the path of Maclaren, who stroked it into an empty net to make it 4-4 and force extra-time.
DARIO DOES THE JOB
Dario Vidosic had entered the game just before Maclaren’s equaliser.
Late in the first half of extra-time, his initial shot was parried by Roar keeper Neil Young.
It was retrieved by Mark Bridge, who played the ball back into the middle where Vidosic was on hand to scoop it in high into the net from close range.
A GAME WITH EVERYTHING
There has never been an A-League finals game like it.
Nine goals, some breath-taking attacking play, defensive howlers, amazing atmosphere, edge of your seat drama and an astonishing fightback.
That’s what finals football is all about.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
* The nine goals scored was the highest number ever in a Hyundai A-League finals match.
* Maclaren’s brace made it seven goals in just four matches against the Wanderers, five of which came at Wanderland.
* The defeat for Brisbane was just their third in finals games in their last 10 matches.
Western Sydney Wanderers: Redmayne (gk), Neville, Alberto, Topor-Stanley (c), Jamieson, Andreu (Baccus 114’), Dimas, Castelen, Nichols (Cole 91’), Santalab (Vidosic 78’)
Brisbane Roar: Young (gk), Hingert, Donachie, North, Brown, Corona, McKay (c), Petratos (Hervas 58’), Borrello (Oar 73’), Maclaren, Broich (Henrique 63’)
Scorers: Petratos 16’, Andreu (og) 20’, Maclaren 23’, Castelen 26’, Santalab 39’, Castelen 53’, Castelen 59’, Maclaren 81’, Vidosic 102’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: North 25’, Dimas 42’, Santalab 62’
Conditions: 19C, Fine
Attendance: 20,084 @ Pirtek Stadium