Wellington Phoenix condemn Roar to third straight loss

-

Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar faced off in Dunedin with the three points chiseled into the minds of both teams; a win for the Phoenix would push them into the top six, while Brisbane were desperate to prove they aren’t just a one-man team after back-to-back losses without Thomas Broich.

It was reflected by an open start to the game. The Roar looked to build patiently while Wellington defended resolutely and hit the visitors on the counter.

It was one of these counters on the back of lost possession from Erik Paartalu that allowed Paul Ifill to test – and beat – Michael Theoklitos after 27 minutes. Ifill turned Matt Jurman inside out before his shot was deflected from the center back into the top corner.

The lead was almost extended on the stroke of half time after a host of crosses, shots and deflections all seemed to fall in Wellington’s favour in the box, until one unknowing header off the back of a bullet cross flew wide.

Brisbane pushed hard for an equaliser early in the half, aware that the longer Wellington held the lead, the more determined and gritty their defence would become – something the Roar have already struggled against this season when Wellington held Brisbane to a draw at Suncorp. But numerous crosses failed to either beat Warner or even find their intended target.

But Wellington showed no signs of willingness to sit back and defend. Ifill continued to turn Jurman inside out, while Tim Brown had a header tipped over from Theoklitos on the hour mark.

Brisbane’s tempo looked slow and laboured, and they threatened most from set-pieces. But Wellington’s resolute defence dealt with them fine, as the attack still looked to hit the wounded Roar on the counter. Bertos and Ifill were denied by offside flags and Theoklitos’ quick movement off his line, but the threat ensured Brisbane stayed somewhat responsible at the back and stopped them from throwing massive numbers forward.

The offside trap couldn’t foil Nick Ward though on 81 minutes after Ifill played a class ball over the defence to the oncoming midfielder. Ward made no mistake with the one-on-one finish as he took his time and calmly slid it into the bottom corner after sending Theoklitos the wrong way.

The 2-0 deficit condemned Brisbane to their third straight loss, also meaning that the reigning Premiers and Champions had conceded six goals in their last three games – just two less than the amount they’d conceded in the previous eight matches.

The Football Sack ‘Player of the Year’ points:
3 Ifill
2 Durante
1 Brown

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required