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Phoenix, Reds in dour 0-0 A-League draw

NZN 1/01/2017 Cathy Walshe

The Phoenix have extended their unbeaten A-League streak to four games, but interim coach Chris Greenacre has been left lamenting the lack of a killer instinct in their scoreless draw with Adelaide United in Wellington.

Back on home turf at Westpac Stadium for the first time in eight weeks, Wellington created enough opportunities to secure a win on Sunday but just couldn't find the finishing touch.

They managed 13 shots in appalling conditions, with eight on target, while defending champions Adelaide recorded nine with none troubling Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.

Strong swirling winds and blustery rain made for treacherous underfoot conditions and the game grew increasingly scrappy, with referee Matthew Conger dishing out nine yellow cards.

Greenacre, who took over with Des Buckingham on an interim basis following coach Ernie Merrick's resignation last month, said the game had been there for the Phoenix's taking.

"We played some good stuff in patches, but I think it's clear to everyone that we just didn't take our opportunities," he said.

"When you create that many chances, you have to take them and you have to be ruthless and we weren't.

"Overall, moving forward, we'll take another point but I think it's probably three points lost."

In front of a 5548-strong crowd, both teams struggled to maintain possession, with Adelaide's best chance coming 30 minutes into the first half when Nikola Mileusnic blasted a Sergio Cirio cross over the bar.

Kosta Barbarouses looked threatening on occasion for Wellington, while former Melbourne Victory teammate Gui Finkler provided the Phoenix's best chances deep into stoppage time.

However, Adelaide keeper Eugene Galekovic capped an outstanding display with two superb saves from back-to-back free kicks.

Reds Coach Guillermo Amor was low key in his assessment of the match, but said it was pleasing to keep a clean sheet after last week's 4-0 loss to league leaders Sydney FC.

"That was very important because the last games were very difficult for us," he said.

"But we want to win, always. Today, we drew, and this is one step forward."

Adelaide remain 10th on the ladder to Wellington's eighth, with a 2-0 win over the Phoenix last month their sole victory in 13 games as they prepare for a home match on Saturday against the second-placed Victory.

The Reds might be without 25-year-old striker Sergio Guardiola, who limped off shortly before halftime after a heavy knock to the knee.

"We'll check tomorrow - it's very difficult to tell, but we'll know exactly then," Amor said.

The Phoenix face a quick turnaround, travelling to Perth on Tuesday for their round-14 match two days later against the Glory.

They'll be without defensive midfielder Vinnie Lia, who collected his fifth yellow card of the season against Adelaide and will sit out the next match.

All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey is still in doubt, after an ill-timed calf tweak halted plans to give him game time from the bench against Adelaide.

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