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Roar held to scrappy draw with Wanderers=2

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Vince Rugari

Brisbane's A-League unbeaten streak has stretched to 10 games after a scrappy and controversial 1-1 draw with Western Sydney.

Stunning second-half goals from Roar left-back Corey Brown and Wanderers skipper Dimas Delgado cancelled each other out, and were ultimately the highlights of on Friday night's match that was marred by a sub-standard playing surface at Suncorp Stadium.

There was also a dramatic finish as substitute Brendon Santalab was shown a straight red card, and could face a lengthy ban after appearing to strike Brisbane defender Jade North in the face behind play in the dying minutes.

Large sections of the pitch - except for a small portion that was returfed after a Coldplay concert earlier this month - were bumpy and uneven, badly affecting the quality of passing play as both teams struggled to adapt.

Neither side managed a shot on target in a disjointed first half but, fortunately for the 13,110 in attendance, the match sparked into life after the break.

Brown's goal was a thumping left-foot volley off a well-weighted Thomas Broich cross in the 52nd minute.

That moment seemed to jolt the hosts into action and they could have had another four minutes later through Dimitri Petratos, whose close-range shot was blocked by Jack Clisby.

But the Wanderers hung in and made them pay through Dimas' 67th-minute free-kick, after North brought down Santalab just outside the box.

Substitute Nico Martinez appeared set to take the shot but stepped back at the last moment, allowing Dimas to guide the ball expertly into the top-left corner, wrongfooting goalkeeper Michael Theo.

The result takes the Roar into second spot on the ladder, while Western Sydney move to fifth, ahead of Newcastle and Perth by the same margin.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said the incident that led to Santalab's sending off "wasn't clear" and claimed North was actually holding him back first.

He also complained about an earlier yellow card Santalab earned for an aerial collision with Thomas Kristensen, suggesting the striker's fiery reputation means he is more likely to be sanctioned by referees.

But Popovic was delighted with his team's performance and fightback.

"It's a very good point for us, away from home, especially when you go a goal down against Brisbane. It's not easy to come back here," he said.

Roar coach John Aloisi rued what he said was a missed opportunity for a third straight win.

"I'm very pleased with the performance, very disappointed to not get three (points)," he said.

"It's always a good sign when you go into the changeroom after a draw and your players are down ... everyone's disappointed because we felt we deserved it."

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