The honours were shared when the Wellington Phoenix took on an in-form Sydney FC at Win Stadium in Wollongong on Friday night.
While the game finished 0-0 it was an entertaining encounter and Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was pleased with the performance which completed an eight-day camp in Sydney.
Both teams had their share of chances but the final result was a fair reflection of the game.
Dutch import Roly Bonevacia was the Phoenix’s best player but Michael McGlinchey wasn’t far behind.
McGlinchey had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute after good work by Bonevacia, chipping the ball over an advancing goalkeeper but it also cleared the crossbar.
At the other end Glen Moss pulled off a brilliant save to deny former Phoenix player Corey Gameiro’s powerful header.
“It was a pleasing performance against a team that has lost only once in 10 pre-season games and that was against English Premier side Newcastle United,” Merrick said.
“We were rock solid at the back and it was good to keep a clean sheet.
“The midfield kept possession well and we had our chances up front, but didn’t really create enough because the one disappointment was the final pass into the goal area.
“If we get the final pass right and have players in the box we will score goals.
“It was a good strong hit out and we kept most of our starting players on for a good 75 minutes.
“Alex Rodriguez had a good 45 minutes which was pleasing because he has’t played for three weeks.
“Some of the passing between Alex, Roly and Mikey first class.
“Overall I was pretty pleased to draw away with Sydney given the good pre-season they’ve had.”