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Wanderers throw away two points in NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/12/2016 Angelo Risso
Nicolas Martinez of Western Sydney and Rolieny Bonevacia of Wellington compete for the ball during the round 11 A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers. © Getty Images Nicolas Martinez of Western Sydney and Rolieny Bonevacia of Wellington compete for the ball during the round 11 A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney boss Tony Popovic admits his side gifted Wellington Phoenix a point in their 2-2 draw in Auckland.

The former Asian champions went ahead 2-0 before the hour mark through Brendon Santalab and Mitch Nichols goals, but threw it away in a crazy 10-minute second-half period.

Wanderers winger Jaushua Sotirio tripped up Roy Krishna in the box on Saturday, allowing Gui Finkler to slot home from the spot before skipper Dimas missed his own penalty.

Krishna then grabbed an equaliser in the 68th minute with a header at the back post, capitalising on a clear Kosta Barbarouses handball in the lead-up.

Popovic's men enjoyed 13 shots to seven over their hosts but, as has been the case for much of the A-League season, failed to turn chances into goals.

A late Finkler shove on Nichols in the box also went unpunished, clearly infuriating Popovic on the Mt Smart Stadium touchline.

But the Wanderers boss told reporters that despite refereeing mistakes, his team could have no complaints about the result.

"What we can control is what we can control, and we had enough chances to win, regardless of some decisions I felt didn't go our way," Popovic said.

"We're needing to do a lot of work to score at the moment but we've got a lot of belief in how we play and if you keep getting 16, 17, 20 shots a game, on goal, it has to turn."

Phoenix bosses Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham were also upset with referee Peter Green, who awarded their side 29 fouls but only dished out three Wanderers yellow cards.

They accused the Wanderers of looking to disrupt their side's attacking play with repeated fouls on playmaker Gui Finkler.

"All we ask, if there is a continual build-up of fouls, even if it's shared around, is that something is done about it," Buckingham said.

"We have to wrap Gui up for a couple days after every game."

The Wanderers, who drop to seventh after the draw, now look to next Friday's clash with Brisbane, while the eighth-placed Nix take on Newcastle.

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