Gombau still holds AL finals hope for WSW

A torrid fortnight in Melbourne hasn't dampened Josep Gombau's belief that his Western Sydney side can reach and have an impact in the A-League finals.

The Wanderers fell out of the top six with successive losses at AAMI Park on the last two Saturday nights.

Gombau's side were well beaten 3-0 by Melbourne City a week ago, and edged 3-1 by Melbourne Victory this weekend.

The Spaniard couldn't find a positive after the City defeat but was much more upbeat after the Victory loss.

"We had a very good first half and we were in control of the game," he said.

"We had more chances in the first half than Victory. The penalty and the red cards changed the game."

The Wanderers fought back from Leroy George's deflected free kick opener, levelling the scores with Alvaro Cejudo's delightful dinked effort.

Michael Thwaite's dismissal and Besart Berisha's penalty conversion put the match back on Victory's terms, with Thomas Deng's volley sealing three points.

Gombau is right about control; the Wanderers had 58 per cent possession and out-shot Victory 20-14.

But that doesn't change the fact they now need to win an effective elimination final next week to reach the playoffs.

Sixth-placed Brisbane head to ANZ Stadium on Saturday, two points clear of the Wanderers in seventh.

A win for the Roar would end Gombau's hopes of finals football.

He said a repeat effort that they should against Victory should be enough to beat John Aloisi's side.

"It's a final for both teams," he said.

"We are now seven, they are six. It's a big big game.

"Playing at home, if we put the intensity that we put today for sure we can get the result and win the game."

Gombau said Mark Bridge, left out of the trip south with a quad injury, should recover in time to be considered for the match, as will Roly Bonevacia - who was left out against Victory for "tactical reasons".

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