Downpour drenches Roar's finals hopes

Wellington Phoenix has been awarded a 2-1 Hyundai A-League win over Brisbane Roar after their match was abandoned in the 73rd minute at Suncorp Stadium today.

A downpour after half-time left the pitch partially flooded and unplayable.

With passes stopping dead in puddles and players skidding across the surface, referee Alan Milliner made the decision, after consultation with the match commissioner on the sidelines, that the conditions were too dangerous for play to proceed.

The call was in accordance with Rule 22.22 of the Hyundai A-League regulations.

 The match was surprisingly stopped as the Roar were about to take a free-kick on the edge of the Wellington penalty box.

The Roar players and Head Coach Frans Thijssen were clearly disappointed by the timing of the referee’s call as they felt they were close to equalising the score.

“I have never seen this before,” the former Dutch international said.

“Of course I am disappointed . . . it was a crazy end.”

The result was a frustrating conclusion to what started as an entertaining game between the League leaders, who had never won in Brisbane, and a Roar side battling to get back into the top six for the playoffs.

The visitors applied early pressure with James Donachie required to make an important block on Michael McGlinchey, but one chance at the other end was all Brisbane needed to open the scoring.

Dimitri Petratos released Corey Brown down the left flank and the fullback squared a first-time ball to the near post where Andrija Kaluderovic turned home a predatory finish.

Mounting chances paid off in the 20th minute for Ernie Merrick’s men as Nathan Burns cleverly weaved his way into the area and teed up Michael McGlinchey in the six yard box to make it 1-1.

Roar enjoyed a sustained period of pressure midway through the first half while Wellington fought back with chances via Roly Bonevacia and Roy Krishna.

The latter played a key role in putting his side ahead at the break, shooting against the post which allowed Burns to tap into the empty goal  for 2-1.

Roar’s best chance of pulling it back before the match was called off was owed to Kaluderovic’s tenacity in robbing Ben Sigmund in defence, though a desperate sliding challenge from Durante smothered the striker’s shot.

Brisbane’s focus now switches to cutting down the gap on the top six when Western Sydney Wanderers visit Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Brisbane Roar 1 (Andrija KALUDEROVIC 5’)
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Michael McGLINCHEY 20’, Nathan BURNS 45’)
Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 22 – abandoned after 73 minutes due to extreme wet weather
Wednesday, 22 March at Suncorp Stadium
 Alan Milliner
Crowd: 10,075

Brisbane Roar: 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 2. Jerome POLENZ, 5. Corey BROWN, 9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC, 15. James DONACHIE, 16. Devante CLUT, 17. Matt McKAY (c), 18. Luke BRATTAN, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS (34. Shannon BRADY 70’), 28. Brandon BORRELLO, 33. Luke DEVERE

Substitutes not used: 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Adam SAROTA, 8. Steven LUSTICA, 36. Fraser CHALMERS (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Glen MOSS (gk), 4. Roly BONEVACIA, 5. Michael BOXALL, 9. Nathan BURNS, 10. Michael McGlinchey, 13. Albert RIERA, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c)

Substitutes Not Used: 3. Joel GRIFFITHS, 8. Alex RODRIGUEZ, 15. Jason HICKS, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (gk)

Yellow cards: 21. Roy KRISHNA 17’

Red cards: Nil