Wellington Phoenix 2-2 Melbourne Victory
Wellington Phoenix needed a late goal by Paul Ifill to salvage a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory at home at the Westpac Stadium this afternoon.
The result leaves Melbourne Victory in 6th place and Wellington in 7th on the A-League ladder. Both sides have 19 points.
It was Melbourne Victory’s 7th away game without a win, which is a club record.
Wellington looked dangerous in the opening minutes and Tim Brown came close with a shot into the side-netting in the 7th minute after Grant Brebner slipped at the vital moment in trying to cut out Ifill’s left-wing cross.
Brown set up Ifill in the 14th minute and keeper Michael Petkovic had to produce a superb save to deny the Phoenix attacker.
The pressure told in the 18th minute when Brown netted after a superb build-up down the right ended with Brown getting in his shot a split second ahead of team-mate Troy Hearfield, who was lining up a volley.
Melbourne Victory were level two minutes later when Archie Thompson played a one-two with Carlos Hernandez and rifled home inside Mark Paston’s near left-hand post with a shot from the right. It was Thompson’s 50th-A-League goal and he becomes the first player to reach this tally in the competition.
Five minutes before the interval, Robbie Kruse put the visitors ahead with what was his 5th goal of the season. It came after a splendid build-up by the Victory involving about a dozen passes. The move ended when Hernandez played Brebner clear on the right and he cut the ball back for Kruse to score.
Kruse almost grabbed a second in the 75th minute when he broke through the Wellington defence, but, under pressure from 18-year-old James Musa, who was making his A-League debut, he blazed high over the bar.
With 6 minutes remaining, Ifill equalised with a fantastic goal after beating Rodrigo Vargas on the right and shooting past Galekovic.
Wellington Phoenix: Paston - Hearfield, North, Durante, Musa (Rojas 76) - Brown, Muscat, Lia - Bertos (Ward 46), Ifill, Daniel (Greenacre 60) (Sub not used: Vukovic)
Goals: Brown 18, Ifill 84
Melbourne Victory: Petkovich - Leijer, Muscat, Vargas - Broxham, Celeski (Ferreira 87), Brebner, Angulo - Kruse (Dugandzic 83), Hernandez, Thompson (Pondeljak 81) (Sub not used: Mattei)
Booked: Leijer, Sngulo
Goals: Thompson 20, Kruse 40
Ref: P O’Learey