2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Tomer Hemed (42')
  • Golgol Mebrahtu (86')
  • Macaulay Gillesphey (90'+2')

Mebrahtu the hero as Roar earn late draw with Phoenix

Substitute Golgol Mebrahtu's first A-League goal in eight years salvaged a 1-1 draw for Brisbane against Wellington in Newcastle on Sunday.

Mebrahtu's 86th-minute diving header from a cross by Macaulay Gillesphey at McDonald Jones Stadium was his first domestic goal since scoring for Melbourne City in March 2013.

Wellington looked in control for most of the first hour, going ahead with a 42nd minute goal from Israeli Tomer Hemed, who scored from just inside the area.

A point apiece does little to help the finals aspirations of either club, with Brisbane remaining seventh and Wellington in 10th.

The Roar have now gone seven games without a win, but their late equaliser denied Wellington a third win in four matches.

The Phoenix had a handball claim in added time, but VAR cleared the incident and rival coaches have expressed uncertainty about what constitutes a handball.

The big talking point came when a clearance from Brisbane's Tom Aldred hit the hand of teammate and substitute Riku Danzaki, standing just a few metres away.

The Wellington players and coaches immediately called for a penalty but neither the referee or VAR official agreed.

"I think they deem it as accidental " Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said. "But for me accidental is when his hands are beside him, not by his head, so for me that's a clear handball and it's a clear penalty.

"The interpretation of the handball changes every week so we go off what the referee's decision was."

Asked for his thoughts on the decision Talay quipped: "Can you explain to me the handball rule mate, so we can both go through it?"

Brisbane coach Warren Moon said he didn't see the incident but was also confused about what constituted a handball offence.

"Does anyone really know the rule anymore?" Moon said. "Do we know what is and what isn't, thats the question I would ask? The referees are there to make the decision, they made the decision and if we get on the right end of one we will take it."

Brisbane finished with 10 men as Gillesphey collected a second yellow card in injury time.

"In the first half we played some very good football, the second half, I don't think we were as good with the ball," Talay said. "But we defended our box quite well and conceding a goal that late is disappointing and dropping two points is very disappointing."

The Roar have now gone seven games without a win, but Moon took some consolation from the hard-earned point.

"There's no hiding behind the fact that we weren't good enough in the first half, we were second best," Moon said. "We had to change things and in difficult conditions on a heavy track, so to get a point we'll take it."