Sport Football A-League: Western United salvage draw to keep Wanderers on the back foot

A-League: Western United salvage draw to keep Wanderers on the back foot

Tough night: Ersan Gulum of United is tackled by Nicolai Muller of the Wanderers. Photo: AAP
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Western Sydney Wanderers will remain outside the A-League top six for another week after a 1-1 draw against Western United on Friday night.

After five consecutive losses the Wanderers finally earned a point but were left wanting more against the third-placed competition newcomers at Bankwest Stadium.

The draw eases some pressure on Markus Babbel’s team, avoiding a club record six losses set last season, but a win has eluded them since October.

German Patrick Ziegler broke the drought in the 79th minute, heading in an assist from youngster Keanu Baccus off a corner kick from Nicolai Muller.

It was a breakthrough moment for the Wanderers who had maintained incredible pressure on Western United, but struggled to convert the possession into goals.

The Wanderers had but eight minutes of elation before a late goal from Western United’s Aaron Calver levelled the scores in the 87th minute.

It was an unsatisfying result for the Wanderers who were timid in the first half but were the better of both teams.

They were handed a brilliant chance in the 61st minute when United’s Connor Pain was yellow-carded for a tackle on Muller.

However, Alexander Meier’s free kick was knocked away by the fingertips of keeper Filip Kurto.

Muller took another shot in the 71st minute with a cross-field kick but it went agonisingly wide.

It finished what was a difficult week for the Wanderers in which Babbel was forced to respond to reports of a rift between he and assistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny.

The German remains under pressure to retain his job during his second season in charge.