A fiery battle in the wet leads to deadlock

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It was a match of two completely different halves of football played out in Wellington Phoenix’s home away from home, Newcastle. Wellington dominated the first half, restricting Brisbane Roar to very few chances and were rewarded. The second-half was the opposite, as Brisbane’s change of formation had the desired effect.

Wellington dominated proceedings early on, as Brisbane struggled to gain a share of possession and could not get past Wellington’s strategic pressing.

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Brisbane’s left-hand side of defence was put under pressure early with both Macaulay Gillesphey and Corey Brown picking up bookings in the opening 10 minutes.

Davila had the first big chance of the match after the Mexican managed to work some space on the edge of the box before his left footed curler went just over the bar.

Wellington had the ball in the back of the net after 25 minutes but it was disallowed. Reno Piscopo drove at the space offered up by the Brisbane defence and struck from the edge of the box. His effort hit the post and fell to Ulises Davila, whose shot was deflected in by a handball from his teammate David Ball.

Wellington finally broke the deadlock at 41 minutes, after an early cross from James McGarry fell to Tomer Hemed. He finished assuredly into the far bottom corner to make it 1-0.

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Davila was next to go close when his free kick before halftime went past the far post. Jamie Young was left rooted to the spot.

The first big chance of the second half went to Brisbane and Dylan Wenzel-Halls. His shot was rifled straight at Oli Sail who held on.

Brisbane began to grow into the game at the start of the second half as Wenzel-Halls threatened the goal again flashing his effort wide. Substitute Joey Champness was next to test his luck and saw his effort saved by Sail.

Wellington substitute Jaushua Sotirio then went down the other end and flashed an effort past the far post, as the change of formation for Brisbane allowed the game to open up.

The corners began to pile up for Brisbane as they threw the kitchen sink at Wellington’s defence. Under increasing pressure, the Nix’s defence stood firm, defending resolutely as a unit.

That was until with his first touch, substitute Golgol Mebrahtu latched onto a pinpoint cross from deep from Gillesphey to equalise 1-1. His diving header at the back post gave Sail no chance as Wellington’s risky tactic of hanging on came undone.

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Moments later, Gillesphey was shown his marching orders into injury time. He was shown a second yellow card after bringing Jaushua Sotirio to ground outside the box on the counter.

A penalty shout late on was waved away. This was despite the ball clearly striking the arm of Riku Danzaki in the box. The decision was inexplicably not overturned which left Ufuk Talay fuming.

Wellington were unable to hold out the barrage that was thrown at them by the fast-finishing Roar. However, both sides will be disappointed with the sharing of the points.

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Hemed 42’)

Brisbane Roar 1 (Mebrahtu 87’)

McDonald Jones Stadium

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver SAIL (GK), Louis FENTON, Timothy PAYNE, Liam MCCGING, James MCGARY, Alex RUFER, Clayton LEWIS, Ulises DAVILA (Te Atawhai Hudson WIHONGI 85’), Reno PISCOPO (Cameron DEVLIN 79’), David BALL (Benjamin WAINE 79’), Tomer HEMED (Jaushua SOTIRIO 57’)

Unused subs: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Sam SUTTON, Charles LOKOLINGOY

Brisbane Roar: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Jack HINGERT, Kai TREWIN (Joseph CHAMPNESS 54’), Tom ALDRED, Maucauly GILLESPHEY, Corey BROWN, Jay O’SHEA, Jesse DALEY (Riku DANZAKI 54’), Rahmat AKBARI (Golgol MEBRAHTU 84’), Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, Masato KUDO (Cyrus DEHMIE 72’)

Unused subs: Macklin FREKE (GK), Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH

Feature Image Credit: Jemma Pepper

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Chris Ball
Football fanatic, supporting some, at times, hard to follow sides.

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