Phoenix upset tired Roar 2-1 in A-League

Author
AAP,
Section
Football,
Publish Date
Saturday, 25 February 2017, 10:41PM
Shane Smeltz of the Phoenix celebrates scoring. (Getty)
Shane Smeltz of the Phoenix celebrates scoring. (Getty)

Brisbane Roar have missed another chance to move ahead in the battle for third spot on the A-League ladder after an upset 2-1 defeat to Wellington Phoenix.

Despite dropping three players - including key import Roly Bonevacia - for breaching team standards, the Phoenix were in perfect harmony as they took full advantage of a flat and depleted Roar outfit.

The victory is Wellington's first after three consecutive defeats, only their second ever at Suncorp Stadium, and sees them leapfrog Newcastle into seventh spot ahead of Sunday's F3 Derby.

Interim co-coach Des Buckingham said it was proof the Phoenix were still a united team despite a week of behind-the-scenes turmoil.

"I got asked yesterday a ridiculous question around had we lost the changeroom," Buckingham said.

"I'm extremely proud of the effort and application the players showed in what is a very difficult place to come and get a result."

The Roar had the same amount of shots on goal as the Phoenix but the best of their chances were either blocked by defenders or snuffed out by gloveman Glen Moss.

Wearing No.99, veteran striker Shane Smeltz opened the scoring with his 99th national league goal just after the half-hour mark, stunning a flat-footed Roar defence.

Smeltz drifted from his marker and headed a perfect Adam Parkhouse cross straight into the bottom corner, giving goalkeeper Michael Theo no chance.

Roy Krishna made it 2-0 in the 61st minute, sweeping in a cutback from Kosta Barbarouses.

The in-form Brandon Borrello got one back for Brisbane with a wicked curling shot from the edge of the box in the 75th minute but, despite a late rally, couldn't find an equaliser.

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