The Wellington Phoenix have earned a nil-all draw in Redcliffe tonight, extending their unbeaten streak to five matches and remaining in eighth place on the ladder – while also staying undefeated this season in their blue away kit.
In soggy conditions, both teams struggled to create opportunities in the first 25 minutes, before Brisbane went on a strong attacking run to end the half. Wellington returned the favour in the second half, thoroughly out-shooting the home side and threatening to score on multiple occasions – but unable to find the back of the net.
Coach Ufuk Talay named three changes to his side that dispatched Adelaide United last round, with Cameron Devlin, Sam Sutton and Steven Taylor returning to the Starting XI. Reno Piscopo would also be added to the bench after missing the previous six matches due to injury.
Brisbane made three changes of their own, bringing Corey Brown, Jesse Daley and Masato Kudo into the Starting XI with leading goal scorer Dylan Wenzel-Halls on the bench.
Here’s the key moments from this match:
25’ – Wet start to the action
The wet surface conditions made things difficult for both teams in the first 25 minutes; Wellington with five attempts on goal– three from Davila – that were off target, while Brisbane had yet to launch a single attempt on goal.
The Roar’s first attempt, coming from Joey Champness just on the 25 minute mark, was safely gathered up by Nix goalkeeper Oli sail.
32’ – Champness free kick
After Joey Champness was fouled outside of the box, the Roar would be given a free kick; Jay O’Shea’s attempt blocked by the Phoenix wall. O’Shea’s follow-up from the left side a minute later would also be off, his attempt again easily collected by Sail.
36’ – Sail saves
Jack Hingert delivers a solid cross into the Phoenix box, which Champness gathers and launches a dangerous close-range header that is saved by Sail – the Nix goalkeeper doing an excellent job between the sticks in these difficult conditions.
Half Time – Wellington Phoenix 0, Brisbane Roar
Half-time saw both teams failing to get on the scoreboard; Brisbane Roar making 12 attempts on goal – all after 25 the minute mark – versus Wellington’s six, and the Roar enjoying 60% of ball possession.
The Phoenix remained steady thanks to their stellar defence, with Sail making four saves in goal and the Nix blocking four of Brisbane’s shots on goal. Davila was also extremely active in Brisbane’s space; his continued aggressiveness could be key to Wellington’s fortunes in the second half.
56’ – Champness is close
Champness takes a pass from Jesse Daley and attempts a shot from outside the box – which is close but misses to the left, in what would be a rare second-half opportunity for Brisbane.
66’ – Davila on the attack
Davila launches a dangerous strike from outside Brisbane’s box, which goes to the right of the goal past a diving Jamie Young. Despite the miss, Wellington looks much improved on attack in the second half; controlling possession and pressing for a goal to break the deadlock.
73’ – Davila partners with Sotirio
Wellington’s best chance of the night comes courtesy of a link-up between Davila and Sotirio; the former delivering a perfect through ball to the charging forward, but Sotirio’s effort hitting the side of the net. Since coming on in the second half, Sotirio has created several chances with his pace and has changed the Phoenix’s attack.
76’ – Sotirio and Davila attempts
Sotirio with the ball on the right side, finds his attempt blocked by Brisbane; the forward is able to gather himself and fire off another attempt; that effort blocked by a sprawling Young. A few minutes later, Davila’s strong effort from outside the box – delivered by Piscopo – is caught by Young; the Nix now in total control of this second half.
88’ – Piscopo and Ball gets dangerous
A sprinting Piscopo comes up on the right side, his blistering effort barely caught by a reeling Young. Two minutes later, Piscopo is controlling the action again; this time setting up David Ball with a pass – Ball’s from outside the box is saved by Young. This is Wellington’s last attempt on goal in the match, as they relentless attack the Brisbane defence.
Full Time – Wellington Phoenix 0, Brisbane Roar 0
Both teams take away a point from this one, but despite the goal-less match the Phoenix will be buoyed by both their second-half dominance – led by an in-control Davila – and the attacking play of Piscopo in the last fifteen minutes of the match.
Wellington’s dominance was evidenced by their 14 goal attempts in the second half (five on target) versus Brisbane’s eight, and Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay would praise his squad’s performance in the challenging conditions.
“Tactically we changed a few things at half-time; not too much but I think the boys adapted to the conditions in the second half a lot better, and he created enough chances to actually win the game,” said Talay.
“There’s three points difference with Macarthur at the moment and we’re on the same number of games, so there’s still enough games – I think it’s going to go right down to the wire this season in terms of the top six.”
The Phoenix will next travel to Brisbane on Saturday 1st May to face the Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium, a team they drew 1-1 with earlier in the season. Wellington will face the Reds without two key players due to suspension, with both Devlin and Louis Fenton earning their fifth yellow cards of the campaign tonight.
Wellington Phoenix squad: 6.Tim PAYNE, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Tomer HEMED, 18.Ben WAINE, 19.Sam SUTTON, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 23.Clayton LEWIS, 27.Steven TAYLOR
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3.Corey BROWN, 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY, 9.Masato KUDO, 10.Riku DANZAKI, 11.Joe CHAMPNESS, 15.Jesse DALEY, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 26.Jay O’SHEA, 27.Kai TREWIN
Wellington Phoenix Substitutes
46’ ON 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO OFF 18.Ben WAINE
78’ ON 5.James MCGARRY OFF 19.Sam SUTTON
78’ ON 7.Reno PISCOPO OFF 17.Tomer HEMED
90+2’ ON 14.Alex RUFER OFF 8.Cameron DEVLIN
Brisbane Roar FC Substitutions
60’ ON 16.Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH OFF 19.Jack HINGERT
60’ ON 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS OFF 9.Masato KUDO
60’ ON 25.Rahmat AKBARI OFF 10.Riku DANZAKI
70’ ON 34.Alex PARSONS OFF 15.Jesse DALEY
79’ ON 22.Patrick FLOTTMANN OFF 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY
Next Match details
Match Week 20: Wellington Phoenix versus Adelaide United, Coopers Stadium in Adelaide, Friday 7 May 2021, kick-off at 7.35pm AEDT (9.35pm NZ time)