Praise for Phoenix fight

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante praised his side's character after it came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante praised his side's character after it came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory.

Perth took the lead with a superb free-kick from Wayne Srhoj in the 69th minute but with less than 10 minutes to go Paul Ifill pounced on a rebound and fired home his fifth goal of the season to give the Phoenix a share of the spoils.

The result kept both teams in the top six and rounded off a tough schedule of three matches in eight days for Wellington, who rebounded from a loss to Sydney last Sunday with a 3-0 win mid-week against the Newcastle Jets.

"It was great character from the lads," said Durante. "We've shown that since day one at this club. We've been down in games before and it's never over with us."

"We always come back and fight to the end. We did that again tonight. We could have fallen into a heap and said 'oh well it's been a tough few days' and we could have gone into our shell but we came out and kept pushing and we probably could even have pinched a cheeky little goal at the end and won it."

The introduction of substitutes Leo Bertos, Adrian Caceres and Troy Hearfield gave added impetus to the fast-finishing Phoenix.

It was Caceres' rebounded shot that led to Ifill's goal and all three had chances in the closing minutes as the Phoenix poured forward looking for the winner.

"Adrian I think is finding his feet now. He's a great attacking player and he really did take his chance tonight," said coach Ricki Herbert.

"Leo looked brighter and mobile too and Troy is always good for getting crosses and beating fullbacks. I'm very pleased with them."

Glory keeper Tando Velaphi agreed Perth had been under huge pressure in the latter stages of the match but felt the defence had stood firm in the face of the onslaught to ensure the team did not leave Westpac Stadium empty-handed.

"We were under the pump the last 10 once they scored their goal. But we created some chances and we were very strong at the back," he said.

"We were relentless in that last 10 because they really came in waves and waves and we stood up."

"We're happy to get a point. We haven't been playing badly the last few games. I think we've just made a couple of mistakes here and there so it was good to get a point."

The international break next weekend has also come at a good time for both teams, although Herbert has Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Tony Lochhead, Mark Paston and David Mulligan involved in his squad for the All Whites' World Cup qualifier against Bahrain on Saturday.

Perth coach Dave Mitchell hopes to have Jamie Coyne and Victor Sikora back on board for the game against Sydney on November 22 after the week's rest.

But he was happy with the way 20-year-old Scott Neville had slotted in at the back in place of Coyne.

"Scotty's a good young kid and he's played that role quite a few times. He did very well. He's sometimes a little bit nervous but on the whole I thought he did very well."