2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Ben Waine (58')
  • Tomer Hemed (90'+7' PEN)
  • Stefan Mauk (51')

Wellington Phoenix need 97th-minute penalty to overcome Adelaide United

Wellington snatched a dramatic Anzac Day 2-1 A-League win over Adelaide United thanks to an injury-time penalty scored by Tomer Hemed.

Sunday's game at WIN Stadium looked set to finish in an entertaining 1-1 draw before Adelaide goalkeeper Joe Gauci was penalised for a late challenge on Phoenix substitute Jaushua Sotirio in the fifth minute of injury time.

Israeli striker Hemed stepped up to stroke the penalty home two minutes later and seal a vital win for the Phoenix, who move up to sixth on the ladder with their third win from their past four matches.

"A very valuable three points tonight against a very good opposition," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said. "That's four games now, three we've won and one we've drawn.

"Very important for us at this back end of the season to pick up these points. Losing this game would have put a big dent into our season."

Adelaide will feel extremely hard done by to leave Wollongong without at least one point after they had hit the front early in the second-half when captain Stefan Mauk finished off a fine team move.

Phoenix youngster Ben Waine's fourth goal in as many matches levelled the game before the late drama.

Before the injury-time spectacle, Adelaide had had their own chances to claim all three points only for Phoenix goalkeeper Oliver Sail to deny them with several key saves.

The result leaves Adelaide third on the ladder, behind Melbourne City and Central Coast.

The Phoenix nearly made a perfect start, when Waine headed a Ulises Davila cross on to the crossbar in the second minute.

The two players then reversed roles for the game's next big chance when Waine released Davila behind Adelaide's defence in the 15th minute but Gauci stood tall to deny the Mexican.

Adelaide dominated possession and finally created a chance in the 27th minute but Sail blocked Craig Goodwin's near-post drive on the left.

The Reds began the second-half brightly with chances to Tomi Juric and Goodwin before they made their pressure count in the 51st minute.

Mauk, Juric, Ben Halloran and Strain all combined in a slick move down the right before Strain's cutback found Mauk in the box and he stroked home his seventh goal of the season.

Adelaide's lead didn't last long however with 19-year-old Waine levelling the scores in the 59th minute.

A wonderful pass from Davila behind Adelaide's defence released Tomer Hemed, with the ball breaking to Waine after the Israeli was brought down by George Timotheou and the teenager rounded Gauci to score.

Adelaide coach Carl Veart believed there may have been a handball in the build-up to both of the Phoenix's goals but said his team had been punished for not finishing the game off earlier.

"The players are disappointed. I'm disappointed. We let the game slip really," Veart said. "We've only got ourselves to blame, we had enough opportunities to win that game."

Adelaide will look to bounce back on Friday when they host Western United at Coopers Stadium while Wellington's next match is a trip to Brisbane to face the Roar on Saturday.