Phoenix draw with Wanderers

Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers FC played out a 1-1 draw in their pre-season match in Christchurch.

Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers FC played out a 1-1 draw in their pre-season match in Christchurch.

Hyundai A-League newcomers Western Sydney struck first in the 30th minute through Aaron Mooy's well-taken free-kick 25 metres out.

Jeremy Brockie continued his excellent pre-season form to score the equaliser for Phoenix just after the break.

Both players had further chances in the second half but neither could break the stalemate.

Mooy was one of the Wanderers' best at AMI Stadium.

His goal came when he shaped to go to the far post with his free-kick but instead got the ball over the wall and past Mark Paston at the Phoenix keeper's near post.

Midfielder Mooy then had another effort, which he struck on the turn, go just wide.

Wellington's chances were minimal in the first half, with strikers Jeremy Brockie and Stein Huysegems hampered by poor delivery into the box and the Phoenix trailed 1-0 at the break.

The home side went on the attack immediately after the interval and won a corner.

It was cleared only as far as Leo Bertos, who played it back in and the in-form Brockie fired it past Ante Covic.

Covic then had to make another smart save to deny Brockie before Mooy lined up another free-kick, but this time Paston was equal to the task.

Mooy turned provider for Mark Bridge shortly after but the striker scuffed his shot and Paston gathered.

Brockie finished the game strongly, getting around former Newcastle teammate Nikolai Topor-Stanley, but neither Tyler Boyd nor Benjamin Totori could get on the end of his cross.

Brockie then had another effort cleared off the line.

Phoenix's on-loan signing from Panama, Ricardo Clarke, came off the bench for the final 20 minutes after only arriving in Christchurch on Saturday morning.

Brockie's strike was his 15th of the pre-season and he is said he was relishing the chance to play as a central striker.

"Any striker enjoys it when he is scoring goals," he said.

"I'm happy but all these (goals) won't mean a lot unless I can keep the run going when the season proper starts."

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said he was satisfied with his team-s performance, especially in the second half.

"This was our first real test because we probably haven-t had the quality of opposition I would have liked," Herbert said.

"We were a bit hesitant in the first half, which was probably natural, but in the second half we moved the ball well.

"They are a good physical side but we finished strongly and had two or three chances to win the game.

"I got what I wanted from the game. Andrew Durante, Manny Muscat and Ben Sigmund needed to get 90 minutes under their belt and to get four youngsters on was especially encouraging."

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