Paul Ifill scored a record-breaking goal as the Wellington Phoenix achieved a meritorious 2-0 win over Hyundai A-League leader Brisbane Roar at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Wednesday night.
Paul Ifill scored a club record-breaking goal as the Wellington Phoenix achieved a meritorious 2-0 win over Hyundai A-League leader Brisbane Roar at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Wednesday night.
Wellington scored a goal in each half as they gained their second consecutive win and moved to equal-third place on the ladder with 15 points.
They played the more direct football and their victory was acclaimed by a disappointing crowd of 4628.
It was a major disappointment for Brisbane, who have now suffered their third consecutive loss, as they struggled to convert possession into goals.
Brisbane started as the clear favourites despite losing their last two matches.
The losses have come after a record 36-game unbeaten streak achieved over 15 months.
But Brisbane still top the league on 20 points, eight points ahead of the seventh-placed Phoenix who had won just one of 13 games against the defending champions.
The Roar were without Matt Smith, sidelined with an adductor injury, while the Phoenix were missing Tony Lochhead (groin injury), Dani Sanchez (hip flexor problem) and Mirjan Pavlovic who was serving a one-match suspension.
Brisbane attacked from the kick-off but were set back in the eighth minute when Matthew Jurman was yellow carded for a foul on Manny Muscat.
The Phoenix had another let-off in the 16th minute when Andrew Durante's back-pass to goalkeeper Tony Warner was almost intercepted.
The Phoenix had only occasional forays into Brisbane's half but, in the 26th minute, Ben Sigmund headed wide from a cross.
However, it all came right a minute later when Ifill cleverly wrong-footed Jurman and blasted a right-foot shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.
It was his 22nd goal for the Phoenix, breaking Shane Smeltz's club record.
Issey Nakajima-Farran tested Warner on the ground at the other end but the keeper was safe and they missed their most clear-cut opportunity in the 35th minute when Mitch Nichols headed over the top.
The Phoenix had a chance just before half-time when Ifill attacked down the right flank and slipped a beautiful pass to Muscat but the latter was too slow to get in his shot to goal.
The Phoenix led 1-0 at the break despite Brisbane having 60 per cent possession, controlling the ball well and having more shots at goal (3-1).
Tim Brown put the ball in the back of the net early in the second half but the whistle had already gone for off-side.
Warner was proving safe and reliable in goal as Brisbane lifted the tempo in search of the equaliser.
But the Phoenix continued to have their moments too.
Tim Brown's 58th-minute header was just tipped over the crossbar by keeper Michael Theoklitis, then Bertos found space, shot strongly but the keeper was again safe.
Brisbane cleared their bench as they sought to take advantage of the tiring Phoenix legs but Wellington held firm.
And, in the 81st minute, Ifill slipped a through-ball to Nicholas Ward who, put in space, crashed the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Ifill 27, Ward 81) Brisbane Roar 0