Eric Bautheac of the Roar and Thomas Doyle of the Phoenix compete for the ball at Suncorp Stadium. Picture: Getty Images
Eric Bautheac of the Roar and Thomas Doyle of the Phoenix compete for the ball at Suncorp Stadium. Picture: Getty Images

Flat Roar fail to fire against Phoenix

BRISBANE coach John Aloisi refuses to concede that successive home draws against last season's bottom two teams is a danger sign for the Roar early in their 2018-19 A-League campaign.

The Roar's frustrating start to the season continued when they were held to a 0-0 draw at Suncorp Stadium by Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

A week after dominating reigning wooden-spooners Central Coast Mariners at the same venue but having to settle for a 1-1 scoreline, the Roar again came up short, this time against the team that finished ninth out of 10 teams last season.

More concerning for the Roar in their latest draw was their failure to create genuine opportunities.

Brisbane's best chance came in stoppage time when impressive Spanish midfielder Alex Lopez unleashed with a long-distance strike that brought the best out of Wellington's Polish goalkeeper Filip Kurto.

Kurto otherwise had a relatively quiet afternoon despite the Roar having most of the possession.

"We controlled the game without having that cutting edge like we did the other night (against the Mariners) in terms of clear cut chances," Aloisi said.

"The disappointing thing is … we should have had six points from the first two games.

"We're going to be a great side going forward. It doesn't show yet but we'll get there."

Aloisi said it was wrong to dismiss the Mariners and Phoenix as also-rans so early in the season.

"These are the tricky games. It's really hard to say 'the game's going to go like this'," he said.

"In both games … we're the team dominating and trying to be the proactive team but we have to expect that teams are going to come here and sit off because we're good at going forward."

Despite that, Wellington - who moved to four points from two matches - had the best chance of the afternoon in just the ninth minute.

But Steven Taylor's failure to convert from close range is an early contender for miss of the season.

Tom Doyle created the chance when he cut in from the right before delivering a dangerous low far post cross that Roar keeper Jamie Young could only partly parry away.

The ball fell inside the six-yard-box for Taylor, but the 32-year-old English defender, who played 12 seasons of Premier League football with Newcastle United, somehow couldn't direct his shot on target, with the ball hitting the outside of the post.

 

Alex Lopez was impressive for the Roar. Picture: AAP
Alex Lopez was impressive for the Roar. Picture: AAP

 

Phoenix coach Mark Rudan praised Taylor's resilience for bouncing back from the disappointment to expertly marshal the Wellington defence.

"He showed his real leadership qualities and the type of character he is," Rudan said.

"He worked extremely hard, he continued to communicate, he was right behind his teammates, he put his body on the line - that's important."

Brisbane club captain Matt McKay will to have wait at least another week to make his 250th A-League appearance after sitting on the bench for the entire game.



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