Shinji Ono played against his former club but Western Sydney Wanderers twice could not hold a lead in a 2-2 draw against Shimizu S-Pulse in heavy rain at the Outsourcing Stadium Nihondaira in Shizuoka. The 33-year-old Ono made his return almost twelve months after leaving the J-League side for the Wanderers last year, following two seasons with S-Pa.
While Ono was the main storyline going into the game, it was two young attackers who scored for Western Sydney. Tomi Juric, who moved to the Wanderers in the offseason from Adelaide United, opened the game's scoring in the 25th minute while Kwabena Appiah, who just signed a contract extension, tapped in a rebound just before half-time after Shimizu's goalkeeper could not hold on to an Ono shot.
Yet neither goal was quite enough to give Western Sydney a victory where local rivals Sydney FC had failed in an earlier J-League friendly this offseason, against Sagan Tosu. Kazuya Murata pulled the hosts level in the first half and Kohei Hattanda scored on in the game's dying moments to preserve the draw for S-Pulse.
Before returning to Japan next week, the Wanderers travel to China where they will face Sven-Göran Eriksson's Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F on Sunday. The final WanderTour match is against J-League 2 side Tokyo Verdy on Thursday September 12. The A-League season begins for Western Sydney on October 12 at Central Coast Mariners.
WSW Juric (25')
SSP Murata (37')
WSW Appiah (44')
SSP Hattanda (89')
Wanderers: Covic (Tyson 46'); La Rocca (Olsen), Topor-Stanley (Heffernan 46'), Beauchamp (Cole 46'), D'Apuzzo (Minniecon); Ono (Trifiro 46'), Polenz (Poljak 46'), Mooy (McGing); Appiah (Santalab), Bridge, Juric (Haliti 46')