How Yeboah battled through pain barrier to snatch late leveller
Kwame Yeboah was almost forced to limp off the Bankwest Stadium pitch early but his toughness was rewarded with an equaliser in Western Sydney Wanderers’ 1-1 draw with Sydney FC.
Yeboah revealed he suffered a painful groin tweak while unleashing a 19th-minute effort on the Hyundai A-League leaders’ goal and almost had to end his match in the first half of the 24th Sydney Derby in Parramatta.
But the 25-year-old toughed it out and, 62 game-minutes after suffering the distressing muscle pull, Simon Cox's shot deflected off Yeboah’s foot and into the back of the Sky Blues’ goal to cancel out Adam Le Fondre’s opener.
The goal was a slice of fortune for Yeboah but perhaps one that was deserved after he had missed last five matches to injury and he persisted to battle through to the full-time whistle, finishing his first 90 minutes in the past 62 days.
“[It was] my first shot in the first half, in the first 20 minutes,” Yeboah explained.
“As I shot I just tweaked my groin a little bit. I decided to play on, I tried to get through it.
“I was considering coming off but, as I progressed in the game, it got warmer and I just tried to ignore it.”
That equaliser set Western Sydney up for a late tilt at all three points but the Red and Black could not find the moment to claim the first ever three-match clean sweep in Sydney Derby history.
But interim coach Jean-Paul de Marigny’s side stayed unbeaten against the Premiers elect, after inflicting the only two defeats Steve Corica’s side have received in the entire campaign.
And the display will give Wanderers a boost in their own hunt for finals football, with Yeboah praising the quality of the one-touch, build-up play which carved out the opportunity for his goal.
“It’s every striker’s wish to get those kind of goals.”
“As we were playing up, the build up play created that goal,” Yeboah said.
“I just happened to be in the right position from that build up play.”
Sydney FC midfielder Luke Brattan cut a disappointed figure as the runaway competition leaders had to put their march towards the Premiers Plate on ice for another week.
The Sky Blues have won only one of their last four Hyundai A-League matches and require another seven points from five matches to lock up the title.
But the 30-year-old criticised how Sydney FC closed the match out after Corica’s side resorted to defending deep with numbers rather than seizing control of the encounter played behind closed doors in Western Sydney.
“Not good enough. No intensity. Nothing. It was just very average.”
“Players – me especially – have got to take responsibility of getting the ball and make things happen,” Brattan added.
“We seem to do that a fair bit this season when we drop deep and soak up pressure.
“I think we need to just do what we do – pass the ball around and have the ball for long periods of time, tire teams out, and then penetrate.
“With the quality we’ve got, we should be a lot better than that.”