West Bromwich Albion's Brandon Thomas-Asante (right) scores his side's first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.  Picture date: Friday September 2, 2022.

West Brom 1-1 Burnley: Brandon Thomas-Asante’s opener earns Baggies 98th-minute equalizer

Brandon Thomas-Asante celebrated his West Brom debut with a 98th-minute equalizer to give the Baggies a 1-1 draw with Burnley at the Hawthorns.

Thomas-Asante had barely touched the ball since being introduced as a 70th-minute substitute as West Brom looked to salvage a point but found himself in the right place at the right time to head home at six yards after John Swift’s cross was not cleared. .

Jay Rodriguez previously put Burnley in front from the penalty spot after Arijanet Muric’s superb spot-kick picked out Nathan Tella, and David Button knocked him down into the West Brom box.

The Baggies have still won just one of their first eight games, but were well worth a point in a game where they hit the woodwork twice and saw a number of other chances present themselves.

Kyle Bartley’s header from an early corner kissed Muric’s crossbar on its way, before contact from the goalkeeper converted Jed Wallace’s effort on the post before half-time.

Although he continued to create after the break, it was Burnley who looked most likely to score in the second half when Conor Townsend’s weak header was intercepted by Darko Churlinov, who ran in on goal before hammering in another effort against the woodwork.

All that changed profoundly in extra time when Swift’s cross fell nicely for Thomas-Asante, two days after arriving from Salford, to start his West Brom career on the right foot with an instinctive effort to win the hosts a share loot, and deny Burnley the chance to claim top spot.

“Thanks to West Brom who were better than us,” Burnley manager Vincent Kompany said. sky sports. “I have no problem with our effort and the way we defended the box and the crosses, but it was all down to us just not being good with the ball today.”

How Baggies hit a deserved run

West Brom flew out of the traps against their pace-setting visitors, looking to avoid conceding the opening goal for the fifth time this season.

They got close when Bartley nodded against the bar from a corner, having probed without causing Muric any real trouble so far.

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Brandon Thomas-Asante scores a dramatic late equalizer against Burnley on his West Brom debut!

Immediately after that close call, Burnley found a breakthrough with their first real chance. The goalkeeper’s precise long kick sent Tella behind the home defence, and his quick feet proved too quick for Button, whose clumsy challenge knocked him into the box.

Rodriguez, who had failed to score in 10 previous appearances against his former side, finally put that record to bed from 12 yards by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, but there was no than a muted celebration on the pitch he’s called home for two years.

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez celebrates his goal against West Brom
Jay Rodriguez gave Burnley the lead from the penalty spot

The Baggies should have been level at the break, but the width of the post denied them the equalizer before half-time, when Muric’s vital deflection turned Wallace’s shot into the woodwork.

They didn’t return for the second half with the same panache and instead had to replace Churlinov’s poor finish to stay in the game. The substitute, who had already missed a chance, latched on to Townsend’s blind back pass but, with only Button to beat, he left the base of the near post shaking with a wayward effort.

West Brom threw the kitchen sink at their visitors in the closing stages with sacrificed defenders for Thomas-Asante and Matt Phillips, and it finally paid off in injury time as the £500,000 arrival on August 31 came back from close range after a poor cross clearance from Swift.

Man of the Match – Jay Rodriguez

As well as scoring his side’s only goal, Rodriguez had more shots and touches in the opposing box (three each) than any other Burnley player and also worked hard without the ball, winning it four times, including three tackled.

What the managers said…

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West Brom manager Steve Bruce says it was a wonderful story for debutant Thomas-Asante to grab his side’s late equalizer against Burnley

West Brom manager Steve Bruce“I think all of us on the ground the other day found it quite refreshing when he [Thomas-Asante] was there with his mother and father.

“Obviously it’s the proudest moment of his young life to go through where he’s been and to have a chance. It’s a bit like Roy from Rovers, I’m delighted for him. It’s a wonderful story, and I guess it’s going to grab all the headlines.

“We needed something, we deserved something. We’ve been like this all season. It gets a bit frustrating, of course we gave up another bad goal, it’s a horrible goal to give away – not the penalty, but the way it happens, straight from the goal kick in the middle, and we have to make sure we’re better than that.

“But overall we showed enough courage, spirit and effort across the team, and a big shout out to the fans as well. They supported us until the end.”

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Burnley manager Vincent Kompany admitted West Brom were the better team and the Clarets didn’t deserve to win the game.

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany: “First of all, thanks to West Brom who were better than us. I have no problem with our effort and the way we defended the box and the crosses, but it was all down to the fact that we were not just not good on the ball today.

“It looked like a bit of fatigue in the team, sometimes simple passes would slip away from us. Then you have to start all over again – your press, squeeze again, work again.

“In the end it took us a bit, and having to play almost 100 minutes at the end of such a difficult schedule got the better of us.

“If we were having a good day we could have had a lot more chances, it was there for us to take the game but we were very wasted. It was a very mixed picture compared to what we we’re used to, but you “I’m going to have those times. It’s a good point away against a team with a lot of good players. We have to move on.”

And after?

West Brom makes the short trip through the Midlands to Coventry on Saturday September 10; kick off at 3 p.m. Burnley is back Sky Sports Football next Friday night, when they host Norwich at Turf Moor; kick off at 8 p.m.

West Brom 1-1 Burnley: Brandon Thomas-Asante’s opener earns Baggies 98th-minute equalizer

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