The Wellington Phoenix ended their unbeaten seven game run in heart-breaking fashion on Monday night when they were beaten 3-2 by Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
In a pulsating game that swung one way then the other, Roar stole the three points when Jean Carlos Solorzano headed the winner from 10 metres two minutes into stoppage time.
The game had started brightly for the Phoenix as they created the better chances in the first half, but the game was still scoreless at the break.
The second spell began with the Phoenix having a good chance to open the scoring within two minutes and it was no more than they deserved when they took the lead in the 50th minute.
Nathan Burns, who looked sharp throughout, squirmed his way along the byline and squared the ball for Roy Krishna to score his sixth goal in seven games with a sublime touch.
The Phoenix’ lead lasted only five minutes before James Donachie restored parity for the home side with a well-placed header from a corner.
With their tails up, Brisbane continued to make the running and were rewarded in the 76th minute when Brandon Borrello was put through after the Phoenix made their own problems by giving the ball away in the midfield with a square pass.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick replaced Krishna, who had run himself into the ground, with Kenny Cunningham in the 73rd minute and within eight minutes the Costa Rican international had equalised with a bizzare goal.
Goalkeeper Michael Theo, in his first game back from injury, tried a square pass across the face of his goal and Cunningham intercepted to force the ball into the net.
The home side pressed for a winner and were rewarded when Solozarno found himself unmarked eight metres from goal.
Merrick was disappointed the way his team gave the game away in the closing stages but gave credit to Brisbane Roar.
“To put it into perspective we’ve had a great run winning six and drawing one but it is always disappointing when you lose a game at such a late stage. In the end I think the better team won,” Merrick said.
“I thought we did well in the first half when we knocked the ball around and created some good chances.
“I was disappointed the way Donachie scored their equaliser but thought we bounced back well before Roar began to take over the midfield.
“They scored, we scored and we tried to play it out for the draw but some of our boys got carried away with going forward and we got caught.”
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Louis Fenton, Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund, Manny Muscat, Albert Riera, Vince Lia, Roly Bonevacia (Alex Rodriguez 61m), Michael McGlinchey, Roy Krishna (Kenny Cunningham 73m), Nathan Burns (Tyler Boyd 86m).