Phoenix hurting from late defeat

Wellington Phoenix manager Ernie Merrick conceded his side were outplayed by the Brisbane Roar in their 3-2 loss at Suncorp Stadium, but said the last-minute goal from Jean Carlos Solorzano still stung.

The defeat brought an end to Wellington’s four-game winning streak and run of seven games without a loss.

“It’s always tough when you concede the final goal in the 92nd minute,” Merrick said.

“But I think the best team won the game.”

After a first-half in which the sides cancelled each other out, the Phoenix came racing out of the blocks in the second term and were rewarded with a Roy Krishna goal, before the Roar equalised though James Donachie.

The defending champions were given a boost by their goal and went on to take the lead thanks to Brandon Borrello.

“I thought we did well in the first half, created some chances, knocked the ball around,” Merrick said.

“And then the second half we came out firing and created the chance there, but the goal that Donachie scored from the corner kick was a bit of a blow.

“We came back from that but I felt around about the 70th minute we began to lose the midfield and the Roar started to dominate the midfield.

“I made changes but I just couldn’t get the grip of the midfield again.”

After the Phoenix had been gifted a surprise equaliser thanks to a blunder from Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo, Merrick said his side continued to push too far forward, and ultimately paid the price.

“The last ten minutes we just tried to play it out and a few of our boys just kept getting carried away with getting forward and we just couldn’t play the game out.

“It’s just disappointing that we’ve had such a good run and couldn’t hang on for the draw there.”