Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was disappointed by the result but impressed by his team’s performance as they went down 2-1 to Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was disappointed by the result but impressed by his team-s performance as they went down 2-1 to Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
It was the third time this season that the Roar had scored a late winner against the Phoenix and Merrick will be pleased they don-t have to play the competition leaders again this season.
It had all started so promisingly for the Phoenix who had won four and drawn one of their previous five games with Stein Huysegems going to the top of the A-League scoring charts when he gave his team the lead in the 36th minute.
It was no more than the Phoenix deserved as they took the game to Brisbane and were unlucky not to score earlier when Vince Lia, who is having a fine season, thundered a shot against the foot of an upright.
The Phoenix were playing the brand of football that destroyed Melbourne Victory five days earlier but in the second spell the humidity got to them and it allowed Roar back into the game.
Devante Clut got Brisbane-s equaliser five minutes into the second half after a good set up by Henrique but it wasn-t till the 86th minute that Luke Bratten lashed in the winner from 25-metres.
“The boys are gutted in the dressing room after losing that one,” Merrick said.
“I-m not. Yes I-m disappointed with the result but impressed with the performance.
“In the first half I was thinking ‘we-ve come up here in the heat and humidity and taken it to the team that is leading the league by a wide margin-.
“We hit the post early, had several balls across the six-yard box that just needed a tap in, and scored a goal.
“We could have been two up in the first half and maybe even three.
“In the second half the boys were dying because humidity is a killer, but they still gave everything.”
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Michael Boxall, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Manny Muscat, Albert Riera, Vince Lia, Jason Hicks (Reece Caira 79m), Jeremy Brockie (Roy Krishna 68m), Tyler Boyd (Leo Bertos 46m), Stein Huysegems.