Phoenix earn point

A late opportunistic goal from Wellington substitute Adrian Caceres has helped secure a 1-1 draw for the Phoenix against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

A late opportunistic goal from Wellington substitute Adrian Caceres has helped secure a 1-1 draw for the Phoenix against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Caceres's 77th minute effort, virtually one minute after subbing on for Costa Barbarouses, nullified Alemao's stunning long-range strike earlier in the evening, which appeared to give the home side invaluable momentum.

Adelaide arguably had the better of a scoreless first-half arm wrestle but the Reds were unable to make the most of their numerous chances.

Fabian Barbiero, the Reds' hero last week in Brisbane, had the first real opportunity in the 10th minute when he pulled the trigger with a sweetly-hit but ill-directed hit from long range.

Two minutes later, Mathew Leckie's half-chance was deflected by Phoenix goalkeeper Liam Reddy - in his first game for Wellington after transferring from the Roar - and fell in to the lap of Cristiano, but the Brazilian was subsequently unable to properly connect.

Leckie looked the goods in the 18th minute, but he was ruled off-side after receiving a terrific, penetrating ball from Scott Jamieson.

United continued to attack and have the majority of possession.

It nearly paid dividends in the 22nd minute when, following a great run, Michael Marrone connected well with a shot which eluded a diving Reddy, but ultimately smacked into the near post.

Wellington battled hard but was chasing tail for much of the half.

The visitors were forced to wait 41 minutes before their first genuine attempt courtesy of Troy Hearfield, but his shot was comfortably pouched by Reds custodian Eugene Galekovic.

A minute later, the ball fell for Daniel, whose attempted toe-poke was blocked by Adelaide's defence, and Paul Ifill's follow-up shot sailed wide.

The Phoenix controlled the play early in the second half, but it was acting Reds skipper Lucas Pantelis who, against the flow, came within centimetres of breaking the deadlock with a single-touch attempt on the back of an excellent pass from Cassio who had threaded his way through two defenders.

United got out of jail one minute later when the normally reliable Tim Brown missed a sitter of a header on the Phoenix counterattack.

Alemao made Wellington pay in the 57th minute with one of the goals of the season, a magnificent strike after beating Daniel one-on-one.

The Reds had their tails up and through Michael Marrone and Cristiano, had a few chances to extend their lead.

Adelaide looked like hanging on until Caceres, just moments after subbing on, left United's defenders for dead and knocked one in off Reds goalie Galekovic to equalise in the 77th minute.

Wellington coach Ricki Herbert was delighted his side earned its' first-ever point on South Australian soil.

"It was a bit of a scrappy affair," he said.

"But we came here buoyant and confident.

"Over the 90 minutes, I thought we were worth the point at least."

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar couldn't fault his charges' effort despite being unable to hang onto the advantage.

"Certainly we went out there to win, but unfortunately they couldn't get over the line," he said.

"Even when we went 1-0 up, I was confident we could hang on. Unfortunately we couldn't."

Adelaide United 1 (Alemao 57) Wellington Phoenix 1 (Caceres 77) Crowd: 9070 at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium