Roar score late to secure A-League draw with Phoenix
Joel Gould |
Brisbane defender Corey Brown has scored in the 95th minute to secure a 1-1 home draw with A-League Men leaders Wellington Phoenix after a turbulent week for the Roar.
The hosts overcame an injury-ravaged evening at Suncorp Stadium to secure a valuable point for new head coach Ruben Zadkovich.
Nothing went right for the ninth-placed Roar for most of the night until veteran Brown headed home in stoppage time after a clinical cross from Keegan Jelacic.
The Roar started the match with former Perth Glory mentor Zadkovich in charge after head coach Ben Cahn had taken indefinite sick leave during the week.
Zadkovich moved up from assistant coach to take the reins and his side did him proud.
“It has been a whirlwind week and a half for myself after I came in with a clear role of supporting Ben as his assistant,” Zadkovich said.
“I have only known him a week and a half and he is a great person. So first of all my thoughts and feelings are with Ben and his health and happiness. Hopefully he can recover and get himself back to his best.
“Given the circumstances … the whole club gelled together and picked themselves off the floor. The credit for me goes to the players. They were outstanding and showed a lot of bravery.”
Roar skipper Tom Aldred also pulled out in the warmup with calf muscle tightness and was replaced by James Nikolovski.
It got even worse for the Roar in the first half.
Brisbane forward Henry Hore went down in the 36th minute with a right knee injury. He received attention for several minutes, but was unable to continue and was replaced by Ayom Majok.
Minutes later defender Jack Hingert left the field with concussion and Brown came off the bench to replace him.
The Phoenix, superb on the break, made the Roar pay for sleepy defending five minutes into the second half.
Kosta Barbarouses made a scything incision down the left and the Phoenix subsequently controlled possession superbly.
It was Mohamed Al-Taay who was the provider with a pinpoint pass from the right that Bozhidar Kraev met with his head to clinically score his fifth goal for the season.
Roar’s star signing Marco Rojas came on in the 61st minute for his first game in Brisbane colours against his former club.
He looked a class above and was involved in the buildup to several chances, including a cracking left foot strike by Carlo Armiento that was well saved by Alexander Paulsen.
The Phoenix had a new-look lineup due to injury and suspension.
Defender Scott Wootton skippered the side in the absence of suspended Alex Rufer while Oskar van Hattum and Isaac Hughes had their first starting games for the Phoenix. Both were outstanding.
Phoenix coach Giancarlo Italiano said he was “disappointed to give the two points away at the end”
“I felt we did enough to graft that out,” he said.AAP