A-League: Brisbane Roar draw with Western Sydney Wanderers

Brisbane Roar has warned of “serious ramifications” for supporters who let off a flare during their team’s 1-1 draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Kayo Stadium on Friday night.

Less than a week after the Melbourne derby disgrace that resulted in 10 people being banned – including two for life – from all football-related activity in Australia, flares made an unwelcome return to an A-League ground.

While Roar fans didn’t not throw the flare onto the playing arena, as Victory supporters did before the pitch invasion at AAMI Park last Saturday, club officials were disappointed that a flare had made its way into the ground and was lit in the grandstand.

It was lit as about 30 Roar fans from the club’s active supporter group left the ground after 20 minutes of play in protest against the decision of the Australian Professional Leagues to sell A-League grand finals to the NSW government for the next three years.

Roar chairman Chris Fong had met with Roar fans during the week and was confident there would be no crowd trouble on Friday night.

Fong had also stressed that flares weren’t welcome at Kayo Stadium.

Roar general manager Ante Kovacevic said ground security had been swift in dealing with the flare culprits.

However., he said police might get involved in the matter.

“That could lead to serious ramifications for those supporters,” Kovacevic said.

Kick-off was delayed by five minutes at Kayo Stadium as Wanderers captain Marcelo struggled to take off his wedding ring after being asked to do so by referee Stephen Lucas.

When play finally did get underway, it was the visitors who gained the early ascendancy, taking the lead in the 19th minute through former Socceroos midfielder Oliver Bozanic.

Having been denied less than 60 seconds earlier via a goal-line clearance, Bozanic wasn’t going to be foiled for a second time as the most of a well-placed pass from ex-Brisbane winger Brandon Borrello to net hit first goal for the Wanderers following his off-season move from the Central Coast Mariners.

Borrello thought he had doubled his side’s lead in first-half stoppage time with a sublime strike that found the bottom corner of the net. However, he was correctly ruled offside.

While the Wanderers dominated the first half, it was the Roar who were the better side after half-time, with the hosts being rewarded with a spectacular equaliser in the 62nd minute.

It came from winger Carlo Armiento, who left fly with a sizzling and swerving long-distance strike that was too good for Wanderers goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas.

“I’m happy with the goal but disappointed about the result,” Armiento told Paramount +.

“I’d rather swap (the goal) for the three points.”

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