Wenzel-Halls fires late winner as valiant Roar upset Sydney FC
Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored a dramatic winner to hand a valiant Brisbane Roar a famous 2-1 comeback win over Sydney FC in Friday’s Hyundai A-League contest.
Wenzel-Halls fired home in the final minute of normal time to complete a remarkable late turnaround and hand interim boss Darren Davies his first win at the helm of the struggling Queensland club.
It was an upset triumph that did not appear on the cards when Daniel De Silva asserted Sydney FC’s authority with his 55th minute opener.
But Roar hung on and – following Tobias Mikkelsen’s equalising strike – dealt the Sky Blues’ hopes of retaining the Premiership a potentially fatal blow.
Already missing Jamie Young, Daniel Bowles and Dane Ingham for the visit of the reigning Premiers, the first half withdrawals of Luke DeVere and Jack Hingert plunged the luckless hosts further into defensive crisis.
De Silva hit the woodwork and Milos Ninkovic inexplicably misfired with the goal at his mercy as Brisbane reorganised into a makeshift back four headlined by Matt McKay at stand-in centre half, flanked by 16-year-old debutant Izaack Powell, who became Roar's youngest Hyundai A-League player when he replaced Hingert.
Brisbane's cobbled together rear-guard resembled a great opportunity for the strike partnership between Le Fondre and Ghoochannejhad to bloom, but the Sydney FC pair were repelled by Brendan White.
The Roar gloveman was playing his first Hyundai A-League start and pulled off two good stops from the Sky Blues' strikers, first denying Le Fondre at the near post before palming away Ghoochannejhad's curler from the edge of the box acrobatically.
However, Brisbane’s resistance was ultimately cracked when De Silva reacted quickest in the box to bury a rebound after White had parried Le Fondre’s effort into his path.
Sydney FC had firmly been in control, but Roar rallied and it took a fine last-ditch challenge on Adam Taggart from Ben Warland to prevent the Brisbane man from stroking in an equaliser.
Taggart had fronted Roar’s dogged approach with dashes of real craft, and there was no surprise when he teed up Mikkelsen’s equaliser with a lovely spin and pass for the Dane to lash in his second goal of the campaign.
But Brisbane weren’t done there, as Wenzel-Halls – a relentless ball of energy on the night – charged down a Sydney FC clearance and hammered in a memorable comeback winner.
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