Wellington Phoenix 1 Brisbane Roar 2
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix attempts to control a header. Photo: Getty Images
Carlos Hernandez scored his first goal for Wellington Phoenix but it wasn't enough as they went down 2-1 to A-League leaders Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
Hernandez broke his duck from the penalty spot early in the second half after Brisbane defender Matt Smith had given his side a 1-0 half-time lead against the run of play.
But keeper Glen Moss gave the Phoenix hope when he saved a Besart Berisha penalty in the 65th minute only for Ivan Franjic to curl home the winner 16 minutes from time.
Referee Shaun Evans shows a yellow card to Albert Riera (left) of the Phoenix while teammates Manny Muscat and Vince Lia question the call. Photo: Getty Images
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Hernandez (48min)||Goals||Smith (37min) , Franjic (74min)|
Phoenix was the better side for most of the game, putting the Roar under sustained pressure, but their inability to score goals continues to be an issue as they looks for their first win under Ernie Merrick.
Hernandez, back in the side after missing the trip to Perth with a thigh injury, hit the side netting in the 13th minute.
A combination of good goalkeeping by Michael Theo, who missed the previous two games with a shoulder injury, and poor finishing also left the Phoenix vulnerable.
Theo cut out two well-placed Hernandez crosses for Jeremy Brockie, and then saved another effort from Stein Huysegems.
But it was Brockie's miss in the 26th minute that summed up the Phoenix's day when he fired over the crossbar despite being unmarked and with an open goal after Theo had palmed away another Huysegems shot.
The sucker punch came in the 37th minute when Smith got a toe to Thomas Broich's free-kick to the back post, although it looked like it may have come off a desperately diving Ben Sigmund.
But the Phoenix drew level just two minutes into the second half through Hernandez when Jack Hingert brought down Kenny Cunningham in the box and referee Shaun Evans pointed to the spot.
Hingert won his side a penalty in the 65th minute when he was brought down in the box by Albert Riera. But Moss made a fine save to his right to deny Berisha.
In a repeat of the Roar's first round victory at Westpac Stadium, Franjic again provided the killer finish for the visitors.