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Jeremy Brockie continued his scoring streak to earn the Wellington Phoenix a well-deserved 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at the NIB Stadium last night.
Brockie’s 73rd minute strike, his fifth of the season, cancelled out Shane Smeltz’s goal 11 minutes earlier, and enabled the Phoenix to return to Wellington with four points from six on a difficult 10-day road tour.
It was arguably the Phoenix’s best performance in Perth, and they could have been two points better off with better finishing in front of goal.
Wellington coach Ricki Herbert was delighted with his team’s efforts, and praised the club’s owners, Welnix Limited, for helping them achieve two good results.
“The owners made it possible for us to stay in Australia rather than returning home after the win in Newcastle,” Herbert said.
“It has been a difficult period with four of our last five games away from home and we have come out of it with credit.
“I thought we acquitted ourselves well tonight and had our finishing been more clinical we could have won the game.
“We’ve got a couple of games at home now and have to make the most of those because there isn’t much between any of the teams in this competition.
“With many of our players having travelled to China in the lead up to the games here and in Newcastle they showed great resilience.”
The Phoenix could have been two or three goals up early in the game, but they also had reason to thank goalkeeper Mark Paston for making two brilliant saves in a free-flowing first half.
In the closing stages Herbert threw on 17-year-old Tyler Boyd and Belgian international Stein Huysegems, who was returning from injury, and it was the teenager who came closest to scoring, forcing a good save from Perth’s former Phoenix keeper Danny Vukovic.