Wanderers' possession pleases Popovic

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic heaped praised on his side for their commitment and work ethic with leaders Brisbane Roar for once denied the lion's share of possession.

The Wanderers dominated for periods of the match at Pirtek Stadium but salvation didn't arrive until five minutes from the end as Labinot Haliti finally collected a deserved equaliser for the home side.

Besart Berisha put the visitors ahead on 13 minutes in a high-tempo contest, however the high-flying Roar were on the back foot for much of the second half.

But for Haliti's late intervention the Wanderers would have fallen a near-insurmountable 10 points behind their rivals.

Popovic says his players remained focussed and calm despite their desperate need to find a goal and avoid defeat.

"These players don't know how to give up," Popovic said. "They kept going even though we conceded early in the first half.

"We could have felt sorry for ourselves because we were dominating the game and not scoring. That is human nature. But we never gave up hope.

"You could see the way we were playing the least we deserved was an equaliser. I would have liked to get it a bit earlier and I think had that happened we would have gone onto to win that game."

Popovic was delighted with his side's performance saying he felt "disappointment not to get all three points", with the Wanderers conjuring almost twice as many shots on goal as their opponents.

"They had one opportunity in the first half," said Popovic. "Aside from that (their goal) I don't think we were really troubled throughout the game.

"The performance for me overall was outstanding. That is three consecutive games where I feel we have played very well, and long may that continue.

"We are trying to improve our game constantly. And I think not panicking and patience is a sign of improvement and where the team is heading. We have finals and Asian Champions League, so it is an exciting period for the club.

"We have had two very good matches against Brisbane. Unfortunately we haven't got the points but we look forward to another opportunity."


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