Wanderers make us really proud to be Westies

Wanderers fans arrive prior to the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Wanderers fans arrive prior to the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Besart Berisha of the Roar fires up at Lacopo La Rocca during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers.  Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Besart Berisha of the Roar fires up at Lacopo La Rocca during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Shinji Ono of the Wanderers looks on during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Shinji Ono of the Wanderers looks on during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Matthew Spiranovic of the Wanderers heads the ball past Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo to score during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Matthew Spiranovic of the Wanderers heads the ball past Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo to score during the 2014 A-League Grand Final match. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

MORE than 10,000 dedicated Western Sydney Wanderers fans travelled to Brisbane to support their favourite team in the A-League Grand final.

But also there, in spirit at least, were hundreds of thousands of supporters across the greater west in clubs, pubs and homes watching the match on TV on Sunday afternoon.

And while the team may have been beaten 2-1 in extra time, the Wanderers and their faithful fans can really hold their heads high this week.

This is a club which takes pride in every performance while winning is just the icing on the cake and on Sunday the Wanderers players put on a gutsy performance.

This was before more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, more than 40,000 of them fanatical Roar supporters, vastly out-numbering the red-and-black clad fans from Sydney's west.

And when Matthew Spiranovic scored for the Wanderers in the 56th minute to make it 1-0, the Queenslanders went silent and stayed that way for a few minutes more before again finding their voice and drowning out the chants from the visiting fans.

And as the clock ticked on towards full-time, you could sense thousands of people hold their breath across the great west, fingers crossed the Wanderers were about to celebrate a famous victory.

There was just five minutes to go, the ball is crossed into the box and somehow that amazing Albanian wizard Besart Berisha weaves his magic, putting himself in the right place at the right time to head home the equaliser that broke the Wanderers' resolve.

And then in extra time, the Roar's little big man, Henrique, broke all of our hearts when he somehow manages to control the ball and smash it right into the back of the net.

■ The Wanderers' reward for their defeat is a gruelling challenge next up, away to J-League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the first leg of their Asian Champions round-16 clash.

They flew to Sydney straight after the match, stayed in an airport hotel and boarded a flight to Tokyo on Monday morning.

That night they flew to Hiroshima to prepare for Wednesday's match.

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