Brisbane Roar are still searching for their first win since February 6 after a brilliant performance from Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush.
A fine display from Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush has ensured Brisbane Roar’s frustrating run without a win extended to eight matches on Saturday night.
Margush was superb as the Wanderers held the Roar to a 1-1 draw at Dolphin Stadium.
Despite dominating for the majority of the contest, the Roar could not land a killer blow, with Margush making a string of saves to deny the Queenslanders, who haven’t won in almost two months.
“He’s come up trumps,” Wanderers coach Carl Robinson said of the 23-year-old keeper who before the season had made only seven A-League appearances.
“He’s a fantastic young goalkeeper. We’ve given him a chance this year to showcase that.
“He’s getting a consistent run of games and he’s showing a level of performance which gets people talking about him.”
The Wanderers started the better, taking the lead through former Roar prodigy Kwame Yeboah in just the 12th minute.
However, the hosts – who left key striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls out of the starting side – took control soon after without finishing off the job.
Forward Joey Champness forced a smart save out of Margush in the 34th minute.
Margush again came to the Wanderers’ rescue in the first minute of the second half with a great save to deny Champness, who seemed certain to score after storming into the penalty area with a blistering run.
However, the Roar only had to wait three more minutes to grab a deserved equaliser.
Again, Champness tore the Wanderers to shreds with his pace before laying the ball off to unmarked Japanese midfielder Riku Danzaki, who showed poise to round the advancing Margush before scoring his fourth goal of the season.
Champness continued to torment the visitors, setting up Mebrahtu in the 52nd minute. However, Margush again saved his side in denying Mebrahtu from point-blank range in what was the common theme of the night.
Roar coach Warren Moon could only lament what might have been for a Brisbane side that has picked up just five points from a possible 24 since their most recent win, a 5-2 thrashing of Melbourne Victory on February 6.
“We’re disappointed. We should have won that game. We had enough clear cut chances to win that game,” Moon said.
“We are where we’re at, and there’s a reason for that. We go out to win every game of football we play and if we don’T make the finals because we don’t win enough games that’s the honest reality of where we are as a side.
“As a group we’ve got to find ways and solutions to score goals, and if we can do that I’m really confident we can go on a run and win games again and push ourselves up the table.”
The frustrated Roar will also be sweating on the fitness of defender Jack Hingert, who will have scans this week on his knee after limping off late in the game.
Roar skipper Tom Aldred was a shock omission from Brisbane’s line-up after pulling up sore after his team’s training session on Friday.
The hardman’s unavailability could not have come at a worse time for the Roar, who were already without their other key defender Macaulay Gillesphey, who was serving a one-match suspension.
It led to the Roar fielding an inexperienced backline that included rarely used pair Jordan Courtney-Perkins and Josh Brindell-South.
The Roar at least had the insurance of experienced defender Scott Neville on the bench. Neville came on as a second-half substitute in his first A-League appearance since returning to the Roar after a loan spell with Indian club East Bengal.
Western Sydney’s Scottish import Graham Dorrans will serve his second suspension of the season after being booked for the eighth time in just 13 A-League appearances.
Perhaps being overcome with Old Firm emotions, the former Rangers midfielder’s latest yellow card came for a 74th-minute foul on the Roar’s ex-Celtic striker Scott McDonald, who entered the contest in the second half in his long awaited comeback from a hamstring injury.
Dorrans will now miss the fifth-placed Wanderers’ clash on Tuesday night against competition leaders Central Coast at Bankwest Stadium.