2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League
  • Andrija Kaludjerovic (53')
  • Logan Rogerson (64')
  • Brett Holman (50')
  • Thomas Kristensen (68')

Wellington Phoenix hold Brisbane Roar to thrilling 2-2 draw

Wellington stymied Brisbane's late run to the A-League playoffs with a 2-2 draw at Westpac Stadium.

Fielding a youthful line-up after losing five players to international duties with the All Whites, and goalkeeper Tando Velaphi to injury, Phoenix delivered a gritty display against seventh-placed Brisbane. A win would have lifted Roar into sixth place on the ladder ahead of Western Sydney, while 10th-placed Wellington are playing out their season with no hope of making the finals.

Neither team could find a finish in the first half, but delivered four goals in an entertaining end-to-end display in the second spell.

Brisbane fielded an unchanged starting line-up from the one which beat league leaders Sydney FC 2-1 last week, but lacked accuracy in front of goal despite creating plenty of opportunities.

Eric Bautheac was strong through the middle, and Matt McKay's distribution created chances for Fahid Ben Khalfallah in behind Wellington's defence. Thomas Kristensen and Brett Holman also looked dangerous from a distance, but their long-range strikes lacked accuracy, and the two teams went into the break scoreless.

The Nix manufactured a few decent chances, but strong strikes from Monty Patterson, Nathan Burns and Liberato Cacace were all blocked by desperate defence.

However, it took Brisbane just five minutes after the restart to seize the lead. Massimo Maccarone's cross found Holman in plenty of space, and the 33-year-old veteran provide a composed finish to volley home past Oliver Sail for his fifth goal of the season.

Wellington responded clinically three minutes later through Andrija Kaludjerovic before Logan Rogerson gave them an unlikely 2-1 lead after 65 minutes.

Kaludjerovic nailed his ninth goal of the season courtesy of a beautifully-weighted through ball from Matija Ljujic, Rogerson climbing high 10 minutes later to nod home Nathan Burns's cross.

Brisbane equalised just three minutes later, Maccarone's header rebounding kindly for Kristensen to prod home.

Burns came close to sealing the win for Wellington with an 88th-minute thunderbolt but Roar keeper Jamie Young delivered a quality save.