Roar & Phoenix play out enthralling draw

A weekend of wild action in the Liberty A-League continued on Sunday afternoon as the Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix played out an enthralling 3-3 draw in oppressive conditions.

Following a 25-hour delay due to Wellington’s flight being cancelled, the match eventually got underway and those in attendance were treated to an end to end spectacle with plenty of chances.

Brisbane head coach Garrath McPherson named an unchanged starting 11 from their last outing and they started strongly in the 29-degree weather, creating a number of opportunities in the attacking third.

Shea Connors broke down the left flank in the eighth minute with her low cross targeting Larissa Crummer cut out by a last-ditch effort from Wellington defender Kate Taylor.

It would be Connors who would break the deadlock five minutes later with another run down the wing, this time going herself and finishing with a cool strike to beat Wellington goalkeeper Bri Edwards.

It was the American’s first goal of the 2022/23 Liberty A-League campaign and her ninth overall in Brisbane Roar colours.

Following on from opening the scoring, Brisbane remained on the front foot, forcing successive corners immediately after the restart.

Just before the half hour mark, Connors once again broke through the Wellington defence and looked to be in on goal before Kate Taylor committed a foul which was deemed to be a denial of a goal scoring opportunity and the Phoenix centre back was shown a straight red card.

Katrina Gorry made the visitors pay from the ensuing free kick with one of her trademark strikes to double the Roar’s advantage.

Down a player, Wellington continued to press and were rewarded when Michaela Foster scored from a free kick five minutes later.

Brisbane created several more chances in the lead up to halftime with Indiah-Paige Riley attempting a pair of strikes including a swerving effort from 40m out that was saved by Edwards.

The Football Ferns international created a chance right on the stroke of halftime winning the ball on halfway, going on a driving run teeing up Crummer whose clever chip was cleared off the line by a last ditch lunge.

The Roar continued to press in attack after the break with chances for Gorry and Riley who were both denied by Edwards before Larissa Crummer had a penalty appeal waved away.

Less than 60 seconds later Wellington went down the other end of the pitch and Emily Clegg levelled the scores with a powerful strike.

McPherson went to his bench with 20 minutes remaining, calling on Sharn Freier who took the place of Riley.

Gorry went close to restoring the Roar’s lead rattling the frame of the goal starting a string of chances for the home side that would have won the halftime crossbar challenge.

Further compounding their frustration was Wellington taking a lead in the 78th minute as Grace Wisnewski unleashed a bullet from long range to give the visitors the advantage.

Brisbane searched for an equaliser as Palmer and Norrie both hit the woodwork and it looked like the Roar’s efforts would be in vain before Crummer stepped up five minutes from the end of normal time.

In the box, the Matildas striker was able to get past her marker and clipped it over Edwards to restore parity.

There was a late scare for Brisbane as Wellington substitute Michaela Robertson thought she had found a very late winner but after discussion between the match officials she was deemed to be offside.

It was a hard fought point for both sides with the Roar now turning their attention to next Sunday’s clash in Adelaide.

Tune in to Brisbane’s Round 12 match from the Liberty A-League next Sunday February 5 when they head to Adelaide to face the Reds.

Kick off is scheduled for 3:00pm AEST and is broadcast on 10Play.

Brisbane Roar’s next home game is against Melbourne Victory, Saturday 11 February at Perry Park. Kick off is 2pm. Tickets can be found here.