Brisbane Roar’s three-game undefeated run came to a halt in Wellington today when they lost their Hyundai A-League Round 14 clash 3-0 to the fast-rising Phoenix.
The result reflected the home team’s strong revival this season and and their domination of possession in this match.
It also underscored the work ahead for the Roar in the three-week break in the competition for the AFC Asian Cup, which starts this week.
The Roar’s first game back is against Wellington again (at Suncorp Stadium on Monday, 2 February, 7pm kickoff). The Phoenix go into the break now unbeaten in seven games.
But Brisbane will hope to be much stronger by February with the expected return of injured stars including international Thomas Broich, goalkeeper Michael Theo and domestic marquee Matt McKay back from Socceroo duty.
The club also is expected to be active in this month’s transfer window.
Roar started slowly today and conceded a goal after four minutes while two goals from Jeremy Brockie, one a penalty, in his farewell game for the Phoenix sealed the result.
The Roar had not even settled after the opening whistle when a through ball down the left by Phoenix midfielder Mike McGlinchey split the Roar and left their defence in disarray.
Roar keeper Jamie Young raced to the edge of the penalty box but defender Manny Muscat finished like an experienced striker to slot his shot inside the far upright.
Just five minutes later Muscat had a chance to add a second when he again ran unmarked onto another fine piercing pass from McGlinchey, but this time his sidefooted shot was just wide.
After weathering the early storm, the Roar showed some resistance and pushed forward seeking to level the scores.
Jean Carlos Solorzano had a powerful low shot saved by Phoenix keeper Glen Moss in the 20th minute while Henrique shot narrowly wide from inside the box off the ensuing corner.
But that was the last of any attacking joy for the Roar in the half as the Wellington midfield, superbly marshalled by McGlinchey, dominated proceedings and the Roar repeatedly squandered possession.
The home side had the Roar on the run several times as they pushed down the right. Roly Bonevacia sprayed two shots just wide and had another blocked while a Brockie attempt was also smothered as it was heading goal wards.
Unlike against Sydney FC last week, the Roar failed to lift after the break, despite another heated halftime talk from interim coach Frans Thijssen.
In the 50th minute Brockie burst through the centre of the Roar defence and was felled by Young at the edge of the box. Phoenix got a penalty and Young a yellow card. Brockie slotted his shot to the left as Young went the other way.
With the Phoenix dominating possession, and going close on a number of occasions, it was no surprise when Brockie broke through for his second – a superb right foot volley from 10 metres that gave Young no chance.
Young prevented a fourth Wellington goal though when he saved a powerful dipping shot from Bonevacia in the 84th minute.
The Roar had a few hopeful attempts in the half but struggled to get any shots on target in a result which saw them stay in seventh place on the table but slip further away from a finals spot.
Sunday, 4 January, 2015
Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 14
Wellington Phoenix 3 (Muscat 4’, Brockie pen. 51’, 67’)
Brisbane Roar 0
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (12.Tyler BOYD 64’), 11.Jeremy BROCKIE (15 Jason HICKS 84’), 13.Albert RIERA, 16.Louis FENTON (5.Michael BOXALL 77’), 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c)
Substitutes not used: 7. Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk),
Yellow cards: Alex RODRIGUEZ 18’; Jason HICKS 88’.
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar FC: 4.Adam SAROTA (20. Kofi DANNING 66’), 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA (16.Devante CLUT 66’), 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS.
Substitutes not used: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 30.Matthew ACTON (gk).
Yellow cards: Jamie YOUNG 51’; Jade NORTH 58’
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Stephen Lucas; Assistant Referee 1: Glen Lochrie; Assistant Referee 2: Lance Greenshields; Fourth Official: Nick Waldron.