It was a game of two halves and you know what, credit to the boys.
It was a coolish, rainy, stormy evening at BankWest Stadium with a half hour delayed kick off and within 2 minutes, the Wanderers took the lead. Bruce Kamau sent a ball across the face to Kwame Yeboah and Yeboah was able to beat City’s Bouzanis. Yeboah’s funky celebration was cut short as the ref called a Bulut with a late offside from a late arriving offside flag. Fortunately for Wanderers fans, Beathy got some advice to reassess and the offside call turned into an onside call.
Like a kid in his late teens who’s drank too much, the first half climaxed early. Melbourne City had a shit load of possession but they didn’t have Bruce Kamau. Other than the opening goal, the first half was as flat as my tyres. So lets move on to the second half cos shit got real.
Melbourne City finally found themselves back in the game through a Jamie Maclaren goal in the 55th minute. This wasn’t any ordinary goal though. This was a gut wrenching, heart aching, soul destroying penalty. Gut wrenching, heart aching, soul destroying for Wanderers fans that is. If you thought Wanderers fans couldn’t get any saltier then put on some goggles cos we’re about to dive into the WSW tears.
Chris Beath awarded City a penalty as Schwegler was accused of tugging Genreau’s shirt from Cabrera’s ball in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched, rewinded and paused the replay to figure out what exactly was worth a penalty. I’ve seen more aggressive tugs in a nightclub bathroom. But alas, we have penalty and cue Wanderers’ fans’ meltdown.
The spice continues as Rostyn Griffiths told Dylan McGowan what he wants, what he really really wants after taking out Daniel Georgievski from an aerial dual. Griffiths with what seemed like an accidental knock to Georgievski’s pretty face, kicked it all off. Or more so the reaction. McGowan telling Griffiths, if you wanna be the winner, you can’t be hurting my friends, make it last forever cos friendship never ends. It all escalated to a massive shirt fronting situation and an all-in ‘meet me in the car park’ type of disagreement. Amongst Georgievski’s team mates protecting his pride, the poor bastard was continuously bleeding from the mouth as the doctor’s tried whatever they could. Both Griffiths and McGowan were awarded yellows for their reactions.
City found a way to get ahead in the 73rd minute with a lovely team goal. Jamie Maclaren hanging a bit wide did his work off the ball by controlling the play and forcing the defender out wide, following Wales and forgetting about a lonesome Maclaren. Wales passes through to an unmarked Maclaren who finds the opportunity to cross it to Brilliante who is now facing an open goal as Lopar focuses on Maclaren. With complete ease, Briliante taps it in.
Kwame Yeboah with a volley in the final 10 brought the Wanderers back to level playing field. In front of the RBB, Yeboah gets his brace. It’s not without some sensational play from his teammates though. Georgievski sends in a hell of a ball to Meier in the middle of the box who sees Yeboah in a far better position than we do. Meier passes with a header after receiving the long ball in and Kwame Yeboah puts it in the back of the net with a thunderbastard of a volley.
It’s 2-2 and the place is pumping. With this atmosphere and this intensity on the pitch, not for one second did any of us think it would end even.
Georgievski continuously struggles with his bleeding mouth throughout the second half, he sprints over to the doctor several times but no matter what they tried, blood continued to rush. So they were forced to do the inevitable in the final 5 minutes of regulation time. They taped Daniel’s jaw and bottom lip with masking tape, wrapped all the way around his head. I don’t know what’s going to be more painful, playing the game in such pain or taking that tape off.
In the final minutes Jamie Maclaren absolutely destroys Wanderland with a brace and the winning goal. Wales sends the ball to Macca who’s steaming into the final third, Wales’ ball wasn’t the greatest, Jamie even had to take a moment and an extra touch. But I guess nothing was stopping Maclaren tonight and he beats Lopar and whatever the hell the defenders were doing and makes it 3-2.
It wouldn’t be a WSW unfortunate loss if I didn’t mention Babbel’s post match press conference. Babbel treated the press conference as though he was having dinner after the game with the Mrs and she asked how his day was. Markus honest as ever asking the journalists if they thought it was a penalty all while throwing in an eff bomb. If you’re a Wanderer who is frustrated by the result, I would suggest to find this video.
Melbourne City can now put their feet up and enjoy their overpriced brunch as they head into their bye round. The Wanderers however have to prepare for the trip up to Newcastle on Saturday night which if they switch off, could be anyones game.
By Rose Valente