Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has hailed the fighting qualities of his side after they fought back from a disastrous start to secure a 2-2 A-League draw against Western Sydney Wanderers in Mudgee.
Two goals in the first 17 minutes from Oriel Riera put the Wanderers in pole position in the NSW country town. But goals from Alex Lopez and Adam Taggart either side of half time earned a third point in four games for the still winless Roar.
"A great comeback from the players," Aloisi said. "We had a difficult trip back from Perth last week and then another difficult one here and it just seemed like the players took a while to get their legs going.
"But once they did we started to show the football we can play. I thought we started to play some really good stuff and control the game especially the second half."
Both sides had chances to get maximum points. Wanderers' substitute Jaushua Sotirio came closest, hitting the post with a curling left-foot effort in the 80th minute, following sustained pressure and a series of corners from the Sydney side.
Roar's Jacob Pepper had a header saved by Vedran Janjetovic and at the other end, Alex Baumjohann fizzed a shot just wide.
Riera and Bruce Kamau tormented the Roar early as the Wanderers dominated and Riera pounced from 10 yards after Kamau's shot hit the bar. Five minutes later, Kamau was fouled in the penalty area by Pepper. Riera had his penalty tipped on to the post by Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young but he was first to the loose ball, netting the rebound.
Young kept Brisbane in the game with saves from Nick Fitzgerald and Jordan O'Doherty and the visitors worked their way into the game in the last 15 minutes of the half. Lopez started the comeback, firing in a 20-yard effort off the post in the 37th minute.
Then, Eric Bautheac -- who had an earlier attempt tipped away by Janjetovic and another shot blocked -- earned a penalty two minutes into the second half.
He was pushed by Baumjohann and Taggart sent Janjetovic the wrong way with his spot kick to complete the comeback and earn a draw.
Wanderers' coach Markus Babbel rated it his team's worst performance of the season. He said they lost their structure and felt they dropped too deep immediately after Riera's second goal.
"If we pushed the next 10 minutes more energy in this game maybe we can score the third one, then I think the game is finished," Babbel said.
"But we brought Brisbane back with poor body language, we dropped, we were not attacking anymore, we were not pressing any more. We lost many challenges and [made] many mistakes with the ball. Passing wasn't good from us."