It’s difficult to know what Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina is thinking about Wellington Phoenix salvaging a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s spiteful A-League match at Suncorp Stadium.
It was the second consecutive week the Roar had allowed opposition to snatch a draw, with Chris Greenacre’s 85th minute header securing a valuable point for Wellington.
Farina did not attend the post-match press conference, leaving his assistant Rado Vidosic to face media questions about a physical clash featuring nine yellow cards, seven to the Roar.
It was not a happy day for Farina, who was banished from the bench and sent off for arguing with the fourth official late in a physical encounter in front of just 7,084 fans – the club’s worst home attendance.
Farina was furious after referee Chris Beath produced a second yellow card for youth international Tommy Oar, resulting in an 88th minute send-off for the 18-year-old.
Vidosic didn’t hear what Farina said to the fourth official but he labelled the second yellow card for Oar as “soft”.
“There was no malice in that tackle. He was a little bit late but you should not send him off for that,” Vidosic remarked.
“There were some heavier tackles so I think it was a little bit harsh.”
Brisbane, yet to register a win this season, dominated the opening half, with Henrique causing havoc down the flank.
The Brazilian outpaced Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante on the right wing and sent a pinpoint cross towards Sergio van Dijk, who deftly kicked the ball into the net in the 11th minute.
The Dutchman has now scored 15 goals for the Roar, equalling the club record of all-time highest goals set by Reinaldo.
Wellington goal-keeper Mark Paston made a crucial save just before halftime to deny Henrique one-one-one.
In the second half the Phoenix were a different team and applied the heat to the home side.
Brisbane’s defence eventually broke down as Greenacre nailed the equaliser from a Daniel cross.
It was a cruel blow for the winless Roar, who surrendered a 3-1 lead to Melbourne Victory in last weekend’s 3-3 draw with the reigning premiers.
“That’s two weeks in a row where we’ve given up two points,” said disappointed Roar skipper Craig Moore.
“We said at halftime we had to come out and be focused and aggressive … but that didn’t happen in the second half.”
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said he was disappointed not to post what would have been the club’s first victory over the Roar in seven attempts.
“To come to the Roar’s home ground and dictate the play for long periods, I’m not sure many teams can do that,” he said.
Michael Ferrante should have equalised for the Phoenix in the 48th minute but sprayed his shot well over the bar from just in front.