Friday, December 4, 2009

Victory increase lead at top to 6 points

Sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix were unable to improve their A-League position when they drew 1-1 with leaders Melbourne Victory at WestPac Stadium in Wellington this afternoon.

The Phoenix did set a new A-League record, though, becoming the first team to be undefeated at home in 14 consecutive matches.

Melbourne played for 50 minutes with ten men after Nick Ward was sent off for a second yellow card five minutes before the break.

There were six yellow cards (three for each side) and one red in the game.

Phoenix’s Vince Lia, Paul Ifill and captain Andrew Durante were booked, as were Victory’s Matthew Kemp and Ward.

Both sides missed gilt-edged chances, with both goalkeepers blocking one-on-one situations.

The visitors finished strongly and dominated play in the final 20 minutes, managing an equaliser four minutes from the end.

After a goalless opening half, Wellington took the lead in the 57th minute.

Kemp was unable to prevent Leo Bertos from crossing from the right and Tim Brown outjumped Kevin Muscat to head past Mitch Langerak.

With four minutes remaining, a corner by Leigh Broxham was headed home by Melbourne defender Rodrigo Vargas.

A crowd of 8,200 braved the cool conditions, with the hard-core Wellington supporters taking off their shirts and supporting their side in ‘skins’, something which is becoming something of a tradition in the South Island.

Melbourne are now 6 points ahead of second-placed Sydney FC but they have played a game more.

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