Phoenix fail to rise de­spite Hernandez

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

CAR­LOS Hernandez scored his first goal for Welling­ton Phoenix but it wasn’t enough as they went down 2- 1 to A-League lead­ers Bris­bane Roar in Welling­ton.

Hernandez broke his duck from the penalty spot early in the se­cond half af­ter Bris­bane de­fender Matt Smith had given his side a 1-0 half­time lead against the run of play yes­ter­day.

But keeper Glen Moss gave the Phoenix hope when he saved a Be­sart Ber­isha penalty in the 65th minute only for Ivan Fran­jic to curl home the win­ner 16 min­utes from time.

The Phoenix were the bet­ter side for much of the game, putting the Roar un­der pres­sure, but their in­abil­ity to score goals haunts them as they search for their first win un­der Ernie Mer­rick.

Hernandez, back

af­ter miss­ing the trip to Perth with an in­jury, hit the side net­ting in the 13th minute.

A com­bi­na­tion of good goal­keep­ing by Michael Theo, who missed the pre­vi­ous two games with a shoul­der in­jury, and poor fin­ish­ing also left the Phoenix vul­ner­a­ble.

Theo cut out two Hernandez crosses for Jeremy Brockie, then saved an ef­fort from Stein Huy­segems.

But it was Brockie’s miss in the 26th minute that summed up the Phoenix’s day when he fired over the cross­bar de­spite be­ing un­marked and with an open goal.

The sucker punch came in the 37th minute, when Smith got a toe to Thomas Broich’s free-kick to the back post.

But the Phoenix drew level just two min­utes into the se­cond half through Hernandez when Jack Hingert brought down Kenny Cunningham in the box and ref­eree Shaun Evans pointed to the spot.

Hingert won his side a penalty in the 65th minute when he was brought down in the box by Al­bert Riera. But Moss made a fine save to his right to deny Ber­isha.

In a re­peat of the Roar’s first-round vic­tory at West­pac Sta­dium, Fran­jic again pro­vided the killer fin­ish.

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