Brisbane Roar 0
Wellington Phoenix 0
Baby steps for the Wellington Phoenix.
They are still mired to the bottom of the A-League ladder, but a 0-0 draw with the Brisbane Roar has seen the Phoenix produce their first clean sheet of the season.
After a consistent run of scoring multiple goals in losing efforts, the Phoenix will take solace from a more compact performance in a clash which they were probably unlucky not to win.
While the Roar aren't amongst the cream of the Australian crop, the Phoenix had the better of the encounter, creating plenty of chances, but failing to find the back of the net at Cbus Super Stadium.
Both teams had a slew of experienced players missing, and it showed early on, as the game meandered through the opening stages. The Phoenix were without key attacking linchpins Roy Krishna and Michael McGlinchey, as well as skipper Andrew Durante, but they grew into the game after the opening stalemate.
Golden boot leader Andrija Kaluderovic was a threat, forcing Roar custodian Jamie Young into two saves, and Young was kept busy as the Phoenix started to take control.
Young pulled out a superb fingertip save to deny Matt Ridenton, and was called into action to deny a Dario Vidosic strike as the Phoenix sent attack after attack at the Roar defence.
When referee Shaun Evans blew for halftime, the Phoenix had already taken nine shots, forcing Young into five saves. Conversely, the Roar had failed to get a shot on target, but that's not to say they had no chances.
The hosts were threatening down the wings, and had a grand opportunity come from the left flank, with Phoenix defender Tom Doyle required to make a goal-saving block from a Nicholas D'Agostino chance.
The ball then ricocheted out to Corey Brown, but in fitting fashion for the A-League's Star Wars Round, he showed the accuracy of a stormtrooper by skewing the shot wide of an open goal.
That was not an indication that the Roar attacking force would be awakened, as the Phoenix continued to have a slight edge as the game's intensity slowed down after the break.
The Roar were defending well whenever the Phoenix threatened, with the visitors having tough headers fly wide, and promising shots blocked by desperate defence.
As the Phoenix searched for a winner, they nearly had a cruel final scene, with Roar striker Corey Gamiero released behind the Phoenix defence for a clear one-on-one chance in the 89th minute.
However, Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano stood tall, saving the Phoenix a point, and potentially, giving them a platform to build upon.