The Western Sydney Wanderers let slip a perfect opportunity to force themselves into a finals position after drawing 2-2 with Melbourne Victory in the Westfield W-League.Leading 2-0 early in the second half thanks to goals from Linda O’Neill and Carmelina Moscato, it was looking positive for the Red & Black with a potential position in third place up for grabs but the Victory fought back to share the points.
It was Melbourne who actually started the brighter of the two teams but without creating any real inroads as the Wanderers worked hard to get themselves back into the match.
It didn’t take long for the Red & Black to win back the ascendency with Keelin Winters and Hannah Beard particularly effective in wrestling control of the match.
With the majority of first half chances being created by the Wanderers, it was only a matter of time that one was converted and it happened just before half time.
A Wanderers corner was dealt with by Victory but centre back Carmelina Moscato collected the clearance, put the ball back into the box and Linda O’Neill was there to toe poke home her second-ever Wanderers goal.
It was a just reward for the Red & Black’s most capped player who was playing out of position in centre forward.
The second half started much the same way as a Hannah Beard corner was bundled home by Moscato via the slightest of flick-ons from Chloe O’Brien.
2-0 up and with a genuine place in the top four up for grabs, cracks began to appear when Melindaj Barbieri scored her first ever goal to make it 2-1.
It was compounded further when a cross into the box was turned home by Natasha Dowie.
Despite a late flurry by the Wanderers they couldn’t grab their desperately-needed winner as the match finished at 2-2.
While finals are still a possibility the Red & Black will now have to do it the hard way with the high-flying trio of Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City and Canberra United the next three matches for the Wanderers.
The Wander Women have a bye next week before taking on the Jets on Sunday 27 December at their new home ground, Popondetta Park in Emerton.