Roar win to end Nix’s unbeaten run

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Brisbane Roar continued their unbeaten start to 2020, securing a 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in wet conditions at Suncorp Stadium.

Wellington were aiming to set a club record of 10 games unbeaten but were unable to convert numerous goalscoring opportunities as the Roar held firm in defence.

Cameron Devlin and Matti Steinmann controlled the opening half for Wellington in midfield, providing a constant stream of dangerous through balls for the Phoenix front two and forcing Brisbane to rely on desperate defending to prevent a number of clear chances.

Roar keeper Jamie Young was up to the task for the majority of Wellington’s first half chances but was well beaten by a Jaushua Sotirio strike in the 27th minute that fired into the crossbar.

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The Phoenix continued to threaten and controversy came in the 37th minute from a Wellington corner as Sotirio’s shot deflected off the arm of Jacob Pepper but referee Alex King waved away appeals for a penalty.

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Wellington appeared frustrated at their inability to put away their chances as Sotirio and Steinmann received cautions, with Steinmann set to miss the Phoenix’s next A-League match due to suspension.

As in many of their games this season Brisbane looked a stronger side after the break as they went toe-to-toe with the Phoenix. Creating a number of threatening chances of their own before they finally found the breakthrough goal in the 69th minute through substitute Dylan Wenzel-Halls.

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After just two minutes on the pitch, Wenzel-Halls received the ball on the edge of the box and showed great skill on his first touch to beat the Phoenix defence before launching an emphatic strike off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

Wellington lifted following the opener and Gary Hooper came close to scoring an equaliser from a set piece in the 74th minute but Young held firm to make a crucial one-handed reflex save to block the Phoenix frontman’s header.

Bradden Inman missed a glaring opportunity to score his fifth goal in four games and put the Roar 2-0 up, but his chipped shot went wide of the post from an almost unmissable position.

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Tempers flared towards the end of the match as the heavens opened at Suncorp, with Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay receiving a caution from the referee for his protests following a heavy tackle by the Roar’s Jack Hingert.

Wellington pushed hard for an equaliser until the final whistle, but Brisbane held firm to end Wellington’s nine-match unbeaten run and temporarily move to seventh on the A-League table.

Brisbane Roar: 1 (Wenzel-Halls 69’)
Wellington Phoenix: 0

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 9987

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referees: Nathan MacDonald, Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official: Adam Kersey
VAR: Kurt Ams

Brisbane Roar: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Corey BROWN, Daniel BOWLES, Macaulay GILLESPHEY, Jacob PEPPER, Bradden INMAN, Jack HINGERT (C), Rahmat AKBARI (Dylan WENZEL-HALLS 67’), Jay O’SHEA, Mirza MURATOVIC (Scott MCDONALD 55’)

Unused subs: Max CROCOMBE (GK), Aaron AMADI-HOLLOWAY, Jake MCGING, Izaack POWELL

Wellington Phoenix: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Liberato CACACE (Sam SUTTON 90’), Luke DEVERE (Ben WAINE 76’), Steven TAYLOR (C), Tim PAYNE, Callum MCCOWATT, Cameron DEVLIN, Matti STEINMANN, Ulises DAVILA, Jaushua SOTIRIO (David BALL 64’), Gary HOOPER

Unused subs: Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, Brandon WILSON, Oliver SAIL

Feature image credit: Brisbane Roar FC

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Mathew Perry
Former snowmaker, TomTom salesman and subpar barista giving sports journalism a whirl. QUT Journalism student covering Brisbane Roar FC in the A-League and W-League.