North Queensland Fury 1-1 Wellington Phoenix
North Queensland Fury had to settle for a point against Wellington Phoenix at a rain-drenched Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville tonight after two controversial second-half incidents denied them possible goals.
First, David Williams appeared to be brought down inside the box by Manny Muscat, but the referee waved play on, while later, substitute Dyron Daal appeared to have prodded the ball over the line before it was cleared. But, again, the referee signalled ‘play on’.
The penalty incident was not clear-cut and Williams did appear to go down easily, while even television replays of Daal’s effort were inconclusive in terms of the whole of the ball crossing the line.
The Fury took the lead in the 12th minute when a beautiful through-ball by Williams was chased by Chris Payne. His first touch was perfect and he ran into the box and fired past Danny Vukovic, despite the close attentions of a defender.
Vukovic was in excellent form and saved twice in the first half to keep his side in the match.
In the second half, he turned an effort by Payne over the bar, while later, he denied Hughes from close range, with Panni Nikas stabbing the rebound centimetres wide.
Wellington had a great chance in the 65th minute when Daniel floated a free-kick in from the left, but Jade North powered his header straight at Pasfield.
The equaliser came in the 76th minute when Nick Ward outfoxed Andre Kilian on the right and his low cross across the face of goal was knocked in at the far post by Dylan Macallister.
Daal missed a sitter for the home side in the 81st minute after Williams’s pass had found him unmarked on the left of the box and close to goal.
The draw put the Phoenix in 7th place at the expense of Newcastle Jets, who dropped to 8th, while the Fury stay second-last but are now a point ahead of bottom-side Sydney FC.
North Queensland Fury: Pasfield - Storey, Hughes, Tavsancioglu, Kilian - Edds, Talay, Nikas (Daal 71) - Williams, Payne (Grossman 89), McDonald (Subs not used: Spagnuolo, Usai)
Goals: Payne 12
Wellington Phoenix: Vukovic - Hearfield (Durante 69), Sigmund, North, Muscat - Lia, Brown, Bertos (Daniel 61) - Greenacre, Macallister, Rojas (Ward 61) (Sub not used: Crowther)
Booked: Muscat, Lia
Goals: Macallister 76
Ref: J Gillett