Stunner: Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates scoring the equaliser against Western Sydney Wanderers. Photo: Getty Images
Whoa. Few saw that coming but the warning signs were there last week as the Nix pushed the Roar all the way. The Wanderers are two points from two games. Are they in for a difficult second season? A mini crisis? Is all the Socceroos talk surrounding Popovic causing a distration?
Well done to the Phoenix who fought and scrapped and did even better than that to earn a very well deserved point. In fact they'll be disappointed they didn't get more after some of the chances they had in the second half.
Thanks for joining ove rlice coverage. That concludes round two of the A-League with Brisbane the early pacesetters, the only team with a perfect two-from-two record but it's early days yet.
Join us next week for the Sydney derby, with the Sky Blues sitting above the Wanderers on the ladder by a point but smarting after getting thumped last night. Should be a cracker. Good night.
94 min: Wanderers finalll get the ball but Santalab can't keep Topor-Stanley's ball in play. Nix happy to run down the clock from a throw-in.
It's all over. 1-1
92 min: Tension inside the stadium as the Nix stubbornly hold on. Ifill shows the best form of attack is defence is attack by fighting for a throw-in in WSW territory. The Nix are holding possession, which will only hurt and frustrate the hosts. 1-1
88 min: Durante almost sold Moss a hospital ball after letting one run.
Cotnroversy as Santalab goes down again after Caira uses his body to shield a dangerous cross from bridge away from goal. No dice again from the ref but fair call. That was close. 1-1
86 min: This time Durante wins the battle with Juric and the Nix get a goal kick. They'll be happy with a point but have work to do as we enter squeaky bum time.
Brockie fashions a cross from nothing in the corner but there are no Nix on the end of it and Covic takes an easy catch.
They go up the other end Santalab goes down under Durante's xchallebnge but looked like he was playing for a penalty. No dice. Crown not happy. Well 99% of them.
Santalab flattens Muscat off the ball. Square up perhaps?
Brockie comes off after a storming performance and Spanish backpacker Albert Riera is on. 1-1
82 min: Hailiti on for Hersi who has had a great game and contender for man of the match. 1-1
81 min: Juric shows great strenth and pace to force a corner off Durante on what seemed a lost cause.
Hersi hits the corner way too deep to be of any effect and the Nix get a frree kick to clear their lines.
The Red and Black Bloc are doing the Poznan. Miht be a bit premature. 1-1
79 min: Juric almost breaks through on goal but Durante ushers him off the ball at the critical moment just before he can shoot. Hersi's corner is cleared and the Nix have it back. 1-1
78 min: Hernandez hits a curler just over on to the roof netting. 1-1
77 min: Yellow card to Polenz for what looked a great tackle on Brockie as he burst through the last line of defence. Replay shows the ref got it right. Close call for the Wanderers there. Great game so far. Brockie's OK. Free kick to come. 1-1
75 min: Juric lucky not to get carded for some petulance over a throw-in there. Frustration creeping in.
Santalab lets fly from distance and hits the post. Amazing shot under pressure and Moss was beaten but for the woodwork. That's more like it. 1-1
72 min: The Wanderers are resorting to counter-attack against the Terrier-like Phoenix midfield. Ifill has been the difference since coming on, freeing up Brockie out side. When we will see a change from the Wanderers?
Wanderers have put a couple of dangerous balls in but the Nix have cleared. Ditto a free kick from Polenz in a promising position but it can't clear the first line of defence. 1-1
68 min: Wanderers resort to some route one stuff which is easily dealt with by Moss.
Who'd have thought the Premiers would be on the back foot to last year's wooden spooners, rated $7 outsiders by the bookies for this match. 1-1
65 min: Here they come again through Brockie wide on he left and Topor-Stanley hoofs his low cross clear.
It's backs to wall stuff as Brockie keeps menacing down the left flank.
Another shot from Hernadez - a dasy cutter this time - but Covic gathers it in. 1-1
64 min: Ifill forces a fingertip save from distance with a low curling shot after great control to bring the ball down. Corner to the Nix. Brockie's near post flick is delected for another coner, taken short.
Hernadez hits a curling shot from distance and it almost sneaks in but for Covic's amazing fingertip save to tip the ball onto the bar and it is cleared.
It's all Phoenix at the moment ... then Hernandez goes and blasts into Row Z so we can all catch our breath. 1-1
Great ball in and great finish by Brockie sliding in at the near post to breach Covic's goal seconds after the WSW keeper had made an amazing double save at point blank range to deny Brockie. Not for want of trying by Brockie who opens his account for the season. Game on!
57 min: Bridge chips a lovely ball to the onrushing Ono in the box but he is unable to cotnrol it on the turn, and the attack breaks down. Wanderers 1-0
54 min: Corner to the Wanderers but doesn't beat the first man. Beauchamp puts the rebound back in and Moss makes an absolute meal of a seemingly harmless bobbling ball. Wanderers on top at the moment. Wanderers 1-0
52 min: Yellow card for a foul by Leo Bertos on Mark Bridge with his Taliban beard. Should be card for that as well.
Ono swings a low curler into the box and it eludes everyone, not least Topor-Stanley and Beauchamp at the back stick, sticking out a big leg for a tap-in inches out. Oh so close but no cigar. Wanderers 1-0
50 min: Ifill and Hernadez are linking up nicely with Ifill proving a handful with his direct running at the heart of the Wanderers defence. Might be time for a change from Poppa. Wanderers 1-0
48 min: Hersi is crunched in a tackle and the Wanderers take a free kick curling deep into the box. Topor-Stanley is unmarked as he rises to head it but it loops high iver the bar from a few mteres out. A bad miss but he was arching back to meet it.
The Nix go up the other end and Brockie has a shot from close range but it flies just wide. Wanderers 1-0
2nd half: Paul Ifill is on for the Phoenix, who kicks us off. He immediately announces himself with a shot from wide right that blazes over. Wanderers 1-0
It looked as though the Wanderers were in for a romp with all the possession, corners and shots they racked up early on in the first half but the goal roused the Phoenix who put their foot down, literally, were able to regroup and work their way into the game by tightening up midfield and trying to shut down Hersi rampaging on the right.
The stats show a pretty even game but for corners (6-1) and shots which all favour the Wanderers as expected but they should be further ahead. They'll be getting a rocket from Poppa in the sheds.
Who me? Manny Muscat of the Phoenix appeals to the referee after a heavy clash with Aaron Mooy that left the Wanderers player with bad concussion. Photo: Getty Images
48 min: La Rocca, who came on for Mooy, has been busy but the Nix are proving tougher to break down.
That's half-time. Wanderers 1-0
47 min: Three minutes injury time due to Mooy's injury.
Ono almost threads the needle for Juric in on goal but the ball hits the back of his heel and the Nix can clear. Wanderers 1-0
43 min: Juric puts Hersi through one on one with the keeper but he takes one touch too many and Moss is able to block the shot.
The Wanderers attack again with Bridge and Juric both contesting a cross, but the deflected header loops harmlessly wide.
The Wanderers after a storming start might rue squandering these chances as the Nix grind their way into the game. They're not here just to make up the numbers. Wanderers 1-0
41 min: Phoenix win their first corner, taken short, but Durante's weak header drops wide of the mark. Wanderers 1-0
Goal: Jerome Polenz of the Wanderers celebrates his maiden goal. Photo: Mark Metcalfe
38 min: Juric was fouled trying to dance through the Nix defence but referee Gillett seems reluctant to blow his whistle at times to let the game flow, admirable in some respects.
Polenz has another shot from an angle on the right but it is deflected behind for a corner, taken short, and Hersi, switched to the left, forces a save from Moss low to his right.
Durante clears the corner, taken long into the box this time. Wanderers 1-0
35 min: Brockie smashes a shot into the side netting -much closer this time - after a swift counter-attack through Hicks, who laid on a perfectly weighted ball for Brockie to steam on to. Wanderers 1-0
33 min: Hersi puts a low cross into the box but it is cut off after lovely interplay outside the area.
Ono could have had a shot there but chose to pass. The Nix countered well through Brockie, who looked to be taken out but no free kick for the visitors - again.
Riera comes on for Huysegems, who scored last week against the Roar, as the Nix try to shore up midfield.
Bertos puts a dangerous ball a cross the Wanderers' goal but no one is on the end of it. Wanderers 1-0
28 min: Hernandez has shot from outside the box but blazes over - not by much though. Best attempt from the Nix so far. Warning signs for the Wanderers as the visitors work their way into the game. Wanderers 1-0
25 min: Cunnigham goes on a mazy run at the heart of the WSW defence and it upended but doesn't win a foul. Yet to spot a Nix supporter in the ground, which looks like one big Red and Black Bloc. Give us a wave if you're there. Ah, there you are. Wanderers 1-0
23 min: Brockie tries another ambitious cross-shot from wide on the right and wastes another opportunity for the Nix. Wanderers 1-0
20 min: Hernandez finds Brockie in the box and he turns and shoots but scuffs it weakly into the arms of Covic.
Juric finds Hersi with a great through ball but his shot is deflected for a corner. The Nix clear but a cross finds the head of Juric but he can't get enough poweer from that distance and it loops into Moss' hands. Wanderers 1-0
17 min: The Wanderers almost score again but for a heavy touch in the box with Polenz in the thick of it again. He has a taste and wants more.
Brockie finds himself clear on the right and blazes a cross shot across the face of goal when he had options in the middle. A blood rush from the Kiwi. A warning sign for the Wanderers. Wanderers 1-0
Almost a rerun of the last corner with Polenz seagulling on the edge of the box for the second ball. He hits it low and true through a forest of legs and it squirms across the line. Maiden A-League goal for the German.
15 min: A bit of confusion at the back between Topor-Stanley and Covic but the Wanderers are able to clear and go up the other end and win another corner. Do we see a pattern forming here? 0-0
13 min: Polenz pounces on the crumbs and hits a drive but Sigmund gets his body in the way and the ensuing corner is cleared fro a Nix throw-in deep in their own half. 0-0
12 min: Great defence from Poljak to break down a Nix attack and prevent a corner. Brockie sends in a curling cross but Covic gets his first touch of the ball 12 minutes in. They go straight up the other end and wina corner through that man Hersi. 0-0
10 min: It's getting scrappy, which will suit the visitors as they try to disrupt the Wanderers' flow. But for how long. All roads lead to Hersi at the moment. 0-0
8 min: Free kick taken and finds Hersi running rings around the Nix again. Ono is crunched by Sigmund the sea monster - a headbutt to the groin - a new one on us but nothing too serious or intentional. 0-0
Mooy is in lala land and will be stretchered off. Shame. Great young player. He's able to walk off. We hope he recovers and isn't rushed back on if he has a concussion as it appears.
6 min: The Phoenix get some ball but the attack breaks down with a nothing ball forward to no one.
Yellow card for Manny Muscat after he crunched Aaron Mooy in a mid-air challenge. Mooy is still down and may not be able to continue. 0-0
3min: Poljak curls one over the bar after great lead-up work on the right flank by Hersi, who is being given acres of space by the Nix defence. The shots are racking up already. 0-0
1 min: Bridge almost scores with the first attack but Bertos clears off the line after a great ball in by Hersi. They wina free and Ono curls one long but Moss deals with it easily. Good dtart for the hoem side. 0-0
1 min: Wanderers kick us off. Here we go. It's pumped deep and the Nix clear and get a free kick. 0-0
Wow. A sea of red and black at Pirtek stadium as the teams prepare to come out. Quite a sight. They might need a bigger stadium at this rate. Here they come now.
And the Phoenix team:
1 Glen Moss
7 Leo Bertos
22 Andrew Durante
3 Reece Caira
18 Ben Sigmund
11 Jeremy Brockie
2 Manny Muscat
17 Vince Lia
21 Carlos Hernandez
9 Kenny Cunningham
10 Stijn Huysegems
8 Paul Ifill
30 Jacob Spoonley
5 Michael Boxall
13 Albert Riera
25 Jason Hicks
Here's the Wanderers line-up:
1 Ante Covic
6 Jerome Polenz
4 Nikolai Topor-Stanley
5 Michael Beauchamp
3 Adam D'Apuzzo
8 Mateo Poljak
9 Tomi Juric
17 Youssouf Hersi
10 Aaron Mooy
21 Shinji Ono
19 Mark Bridge
18 Iacopo La Rocca
20 Jerrad Tyson
11 Brendon Santalab
2 Shannon Cole
7 Labinot Haliti
Shane Brady here with you as the Wanderers hope to welcome their legion of fans back for season two with a win and steal a march on crosstown rivals Sydney FC before their derby next weekend.
A very depleted Phoenix side proved a match for Brisbane Roar last week, and were only denied a point by an last gasp goal to the impressive Ivan Franjic.
The Roar were purring at home last night against Sydney, who look in all sorts of trouble with their linchpin Alessandro Del Piero injured.
On the viewing of the first two rounds, the Roar and Melbourne Victory, despite only two points from two matches, look the benchmarks. Friday night's Adelaide-Victory match was a cracker, just a shame the refereeing didn't live up to the playing standards as the Victory suffered some appallling decisions.
Let's see if the Wanderers can click today after a cagey showing the grand final rematch against the Mariners last week. Kick-off at 5pm.