Scoreless stalemate for Brisbane and Wellington

by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of

Hyundai A-League – Season 13 – 2017/2018 – Round 10

5:35pm, Saturday 9 December, 2017 – Robina Stadium, Gold Coast

Brisbane Roar FC 0
drew with
Wellington Phoenix FC 0


Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix battled their way to a scoreless draw in front of 5,192 fans at the CBUS Super Stadium in Robina on December 9, the second time this season the Hyundai A-League has witnessed a 0-0 outcome – and Brisbane were involved in the other one as well!

There was very little to write home about during a cagey opening half-hour, as two injury-hit sides concentrated on sorting out their defensive structures rather than doing anything outlandish at the other end of the park.

A Scott Galloway block of a Massimo Maccarone volley was the only goal attempt of any note during this period, but in the 31st minute, Brisbane had decent penalty claims denied them by referee Shaun Evans.

Maccarone played a lovely ball through the inside left channel for Eric Bautheac to latch onto, and his low cross for Ivan Franjic saw the striker bundled over by Daniel Mullen as their paths crossed in the area.

The ball went behind both and into the stride of Nick D’Agostino, whose shot was blocked at close quarters by Lewis Italiano. The ball rebounded into the stride of Corey Brown, who lifted it over the top of an open goal from twenty yards.

That stirred Brisbane briefly into life, with Italiano saving at the feet of Maccarone soon after as Matt McKay and Bautheac, who was soon to depart the fray due to injury, prised open Wellington once more.

The visitors came back strongly, with Matthew Ridenton at the centre of all that was good about their late first half rally, primarily via a series of set-piece deliveries. His first, in the 38th minute, was a free-kick which Brisbane failed to clear, Mullen being denied in the act of shooting by Daniel Bowles, the best-performed defender on the park throughout the evening.

The resulting Ridenton corner picked out Andrija Kaludjerovic beyond the far post, but his header was tipped over the bar by Jamie Young, who saved one volley from Ridenton before tipping another from the same player round the far post right on half-time.

That came seconds after Young produced the save of the half by pulling off a fine one-handed denial low to his left to keep out a Dario Vidosic volley, the striker having latched onto the rebound after Bowles had blocked a Mullen drive from distance.

The half-time whistle came at just the wrong time for Wellington, while the first half-hour of the second spell matched the first for its lack of inventiveness by both teams, the only incident of note materialising in the 52nd minute.

Jack Hingert took a quick throw-in to Franjic, whose back-heel bisected two defenders and allowed the fullback to get to the by-line, from where Hingert hammered a cross into the goalmouth.

The ball struck Maccarone before bouncing down and over the bar from five yards, although it was as much as the striker could do to make any meaningful contact with the sphere at all – it came at him like a rocket!

A series of chances for Vidosic offered Wellington their best hopes of breaking the deadlock. From a Ridenton corner in the 68th minute, he headed the ball past the far post, while Bowles blocked his near post two minutes later, after Adam Parkhouse and Galloway had combined on the right.

The resulting Ridenton corner was cleared to Tom Doyle, soon to get involved in a bit of nonsense with Brisbane substitute Petros Skapetis which saw both players rightly booked. Before that, however, Doyle picked out Vidosic with his cross, but the header of Wellington’s captain for the day was blocked by team-mate Marco Rossi.

With eleven minutes to play, Brisbane twice sent the ball sizzling across Wellington’s goal area, firstly via Skapetis’ diving header, thence from a Corey Gameiro cross. The latter, in the last minute, was played through by the combination play of Maccarone and Skapetis.

Ten minutes after Young had kept out a well-struck thirty yarder from Goran Paracki, Italiano blocked the substitute’s attempt to break the deadlock at the death, thus ensuring a scoreless scoreline would result, just the twelfth time bottom-placed Wellington has recorded this result since making their A-League debut in 2007.

Match details

Crowd: 5,192

Brisbane Roar FC: Young (gk); Hingert, Pepper, Bowles (booked, 20), Brown; Caletti (Gameiro, 66 (booked, 90)), D’Agostino (booked, 7), McKay; Franjic (Skapetis, 71 (booked, 86), Maccarone, Bautheac (Oxborrow, 41)

Coach: John Aloisi

Wellington Phoenix FC: Italiano (gk); Galloway, Mullen (booked, 90), Rossi, Doyle (booked, 86); Parkhouse, Paracki, Ridenton; Vidosic, Kaludjerovic, Rufer
Coach: Darije Kalezić

Points and ratings

Referee: Shaun Evans 5/10

Match 4/10
Pitch 9/10

Player points
3 Bowles
2 Ridenton
1 Vidosic