Lachie Rose secured the Bulls a 1-1 draw against Wellington in their relocated Isuzu UTE A-League season opener in Newcastle.
The wet weather at McDonald Jones Stadium didn’t stop the two teams putting up a fight for points with Gary Hooper scoring a penalty and Lachie Rose’s strike resulting in a point given to each team.
8’| Wellington had a great chance to open the scoring from a close-range effort from Gary Hooper. However, a fantastic stop from Filip Kurto kept the scores level.
25’| Goal to Wellington! Hooper converts the penalty to give the Phoenix the lead. The referee awarded a free-kick after James Meredith brought down Reno Piscopo, but a VAR check ruled it a penalty.
30’| Aleksandar Šušnjar decided to have a long-range shot, but it went wide from the target.
38’| Aleksandar Jovanović shot inside the box after Craig Noone delivered a corner, but the Wellington defenders blocked it.
43’| Close call! Piscopo took a curling shot from outside the box, which Benjamin Waine laid off. However, it went wide from the target.
43’| The Bulls had the chance to equal the scoring before half-time after Daniel De Silva took a shot from outside the box, which went over the bar.
51’| Noone had an excellent opportunity to find Lachie Rose in the box, but his cross went straight to Wellington’s goalkeeper, Oliver Sail.
55’| Dávila crossed the ball into the box to give Meredith a chance to head it, but Sail saved it.
55’| Wellington could have doubled their lead after David Ball made a run to create space in front of the goal to have a shot, but it went wide.
58’| A corner for the Bulls gave Jordon Mutch a heading opportunity, seeing the ball go over the goal.
59’| Mutch had another shot on goal, but this time it was from outside the box, and it went straight to the keeper.
61’| Goal! Rose took a hard-low shot inside the box towards the keeper’s bottom right-hand side to find the back of the net. Noone from a corner cross assisted it.
64’| A save from Kurto prevented Wellington from taking the lead after a shot from Jaushua Sotirio, which Waine assisted.
80’| Wellington had a great opportunity to take the lead after a shot went past Kurto, but Tomislav Uskok made a terrific clearance off the line to keep the scores level.
83’| Ball did well to create a chance outside the box before his shot went over the frame of the goal.
90+2’| A crucial save by Kurto prevented Ball’s close-range shot from giving Wellington a late winner.
“We’ve had a difficult period of late so I thought the boys put in a good performance in difficult circumstances,” Milicic said.
“We go home, so to speak, with something.”