Wellington Phoenix fume after handball controversy mars Brisbane Roar draw

Wellington Phoenix have slumped to a 1-1 draw with 10-man Brisbane Roar after a highly-controversial VAR call went against them at the death on Sunday.
The Phoenix thought they had won a penalty deep into stoppage time at a sodden McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle when a hurried clearance from Roar captain Tom Aldred struck the raised arm of team-mate Riku Danzaki.

However, much to coach Ufuk Talays bemusement, the video assistant referee upheld on-field referee Stephen Lucass decision not to award a penalty, denying the Phoenix a potential get out of jail free card after conceding in the 86th minute.

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The Phoenix were denied a late penalty in their draw against the Roar.

The explanation we got is the defending is trying to clear and then its hit a defender, so its accidental. But for me, accidental is when his hands are beside him by his head, Talay said.

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For me its a clear handball and a clear penalty but the interpretation of the handball changes every week, so we go with what the referees decision was.

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Phoenix striker Tomer Hemed celebrates after opening the scoring three minutes before halftime.

The Phoenix led for most of Sundays game after marquee striker Tomer Hemed justified his return to the starting XI by scoring the breakthrough goal in the 42nd minute his second in successive games.

Aldred was unable to deal with a cross from James McGarry and Hemed swooped, pinching possession on the edge of the penalty area and hitting a first-time shot to give the Phoenix a well-deserved lead after dominating the first half.

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Roar defender Tom Aldred and Phoenix striker David Ball challenge for the ball.

But in a classic game of two halves the Roar came alive in the second half and levelled the score with four minutes remaining following a sustained period of pressure when Golgol Mebrahtu met a MacAulay Gillespie cross and headed home from close-range to score his first A-League goal in eight years.

Its very disappointing. The first half I thought we played some really good football and second half I didnt think we were as good with the ball, but we defended our box quite well and conceding a goal that late is disappointing and dropping two points is very disappointing.

The foul happy Roar were reduced to 10 men when Gillespie was shown a second yellow for brharapg down a rampaging substitute Jaushua Sotirio. It was one of 21 fouls committed against the Phoenix.

Fouling when you win the ball in transition is also a tactic as well and I think the referees need to be aware of that.

Sundays stalemate has left the Phoenix rooted in 10th place, six points off the top-six.

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Phoenix defender James McGarry gets beyond Roar striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls.

They are back in action against the struggling Melbourne Victory on Wednesday a game both teams will be desperate to win.

At the end of the day we still get a point, Talay said. Weve got two more games coming up very quickly. Our goal was to try and get nine points from the three games but theres still another six points available from these next two games.

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Tomer Hemed 42) Brisbane Roar 1 (Golgol Mebrahtu 86)

HT: 1-0


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