The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have extended their unbeaten run to four matches after a well-deserved point against Perth Glory.Having to come-from-behind in the second half, a Brendon Santalab strike secured a share of the points for the Red & Black after Nicolás Martínez opened the scoring in the first minute.
Nico’s opener was the fastest goal in Wanderers’ history with the Argentine beating Santalab’s 2014 record of 42 seconds with a strike well-placed drive from outside of the box.
It was Nico’s first goal in Wanderers’ colours and came off the back of a sweeping move from downfield in only the 31st second.
Unfortunately for the Red & Black, the lead did not last as the home team equalised only four minutes later when Alex Grant capitalised on a set piece opportunity for the Glory.
The rest of the half became a battle of attrition as the two teams settled in for a physical battle with only Perth’s Castro having a legitimate chance to score before half time.
After the break the match stayed true to form with a limited number of scoring chances as both teams fought hard to wrestle control.
It was Perth that broke through early with Andy Keogh putting the Glory ahead in the 51st minute, getting on the end of a rebound after Andrew Redmayne parried away a Chris Harold cross.
Santalab came to the rescue though, scoring the equaliser after some great build-up play.
It started with Mitch Nichols as he drew two defenders before he found Nico with an excellent pass.
The Argentine turned his defender before playing a pinpoint ball to Santalab for the striker to make it 2-2.
Harold had the final chance of the match for Glory with a delightful header but Redmayne was up to the task with an impressive reaction save to see the match finish as a draw.
The Wanderers head to Melbourne next week to take on Victory at Etihad Stadium. Kick-off is 7:50pm on Saturday night.
Perth Glory 2 (Alex Grant 5’ Andy Keogh 51’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Nicolás Martínez 1’ Brendon Santalab 67’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Andrew Redmayne (GK), Jack Clisby, Aritz Borda, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Scott Neville, Dimas (C), Bruno Piñatares (Brendan Hamill), Mitch Nichols (Kearyn Baccus), Nicolás Martínez, Jaushua Sotirio (Jumpei), Brendon Santalab
Unused subs: Jerrad Tyson (GK), Lachlan Scott