An entertaining end-to-end contest between Brisbane Roar & Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night has ended all square.
A goal apiece ensured both sides shared the spoils in a high-paced encounter at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium in the Roar’s penultimate fixture of the regular season.
Scott McDonald continued his sparkling form in front of goal, firing in his sixth goal in as many matches midway through the second half before his strike was cancelled out by fellow former Celtic striker Gary Hooper.
Head Coach Warren Moon says there’s plenty of positives to take from a high-quality fixture between two sides who could well meet again in the coming weeks.
“We had to absorb a lot of pressure in the second half. They’re a good side and I think it’s a fair result in the end…when we had our moments in the first half, we were in control and we had a couple of good chances where they didn’t,” Moon said.
“I think we learned a lot about our opposition tonight & we learned a lot about ourselves.
“We were able to play a high-quality match against a very good team… we may play them again in a few weeks and I’m very excited by the prospect.”
The Head Coach praised his defensive set-up with his side forced to defend valiantly under heavy pressure during the second half with Jamie Young making a number of top-notch saves throughout the contest.
The two-time Gary Wilkins medallist finest stop came with an athletic save to deny Hooper in first-half stoppage time, lunging backwards to drag a looping shot back into play.
“They had a few opportunities & it’s difficult in games like these where there’s lots of pressure. Keepers have to play their part in these games & I’m glad I could contribute,” Young said post-match.
Moon’s men were just as creative in the front third, forcing Marinovic into a number of strong saves with the Head Coach pleased with his side’s transition play.
“In transition we were good. We created some great moments in the first half and on our day, maybe we take those & we’re out of sight before they put on the pressure in the second half,” Moon added.
The Roar round out its regular season next Monday night against Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium (7:30pm kick-off).
Brisbane Roar – McDonald 61′ – 0-1
Jay O’Shea links up with Scott McDonald inside the area before the striker composes and fires a shot on the left foot in to the top corner.
Wellington Phoenix – Hooper 82′ – 1-1
Gary Hooper is first on the scene after the ball rebounds into the area off the base of the post before tapping home from close range.
Hyundai A-League 2019/20: Wellington Phoenix vs Brisbane Roar
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Wednesday, 5 August
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Hooper 82′)
Brisbane Roar 1 (McDonald 61′)