Wellington Phoenix 0 Adelaide United 0

Their year is likely to improve tomorrow but 2017 hardly began in the best possible fashion for Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham.

The co-coaches tonight watched their Wellington Phoenix side draw a blank against bottom-placed Adelaide, held to a nil-all draw on a miserable summer's night in Wellington.

After a stalemate that left the Phoenix in eighth place, with 12 points from 12 games, Greenacre and Buckingham should tomorrow receive confirmation they will retain their role for the remainder of the campaign. And, having overseen the club's longest unbeaten run in almost two years, Greenacre and Buckingham will feel they deserve the removal of the interim tag.

But, a 3-0 victory over the lowly Central Coast aside, it's been far from a dream run: six points gathered from four games while facing a quartet of teams outside the top four.

Advertisement

Tonight's result came against an Adelaide side threatening to mount the worst title defence in A-League history, with a talented squad having managed only a solitary victory this season, last month's 2-0 victory over the Phoenix that prompted Ernie Merrick's resignation.

Adelaide also came into the contest having scored only once in their previous three games - an own goal, at that - so a glut of goals was hardly expected against a Phoenix team who have notched 13 in 12 matches this season.

The pair's combined attacking pedigree certainly showed in a first half almost completely devoid of goal-mouth action. Adelaide midfielder Nikola Mileusnic butchered what was easily the best chance, blazing over in space near the penalty spot, and neither Glen Moss nor Eugene Galekovic were readily required in goal.

The Adelaide custodian had to extend himself only after a deflected Kosta Barbarouses drive but, despite his inactivity, the Phoenix probably shaded the half. After both sides struggled initially to keep the ball down and dictate play, the hosts began to deliver a number of teasing deliveries into the area, with only a touch of inaccuracy preventing those passes from finding the Phoenix runners arriving late.

Wellington also started the second spell brightly, with good interplay between Barbarouses and Hamish Watson creating an opening before Galekovic smothered well at the feet of the former. In the first 15 minutes alone, both teams probably showed more enterprise than they managed in the first 45, with the Phoenix continuing to look the likelier to break the deadlock.

But, frustrated by a fine double-save from Galekovicin stoppage time, the goal never came, denying Greenacre and Buckingham a truly happy New Year.

Wellington Phoenix 0
Adelaide United 0
Halftime: 0-0