A mixture of traditional Phoenix grit and a new attacking
threat combined for an encouraging 3-2 win over Melbourne
Heart, leaving coach Ricki Herbert optimistic in the middle of
a congested festive fixture schedule.
Down 2-0 after 16 minutes at Westpac Stadium last night, the
Phoenix battled back through Louis Fenton to trail 2-1 at
halftime before a Jeremy Brockie brace gave them their fourth
win of the season.
It was only the second time in 47 A-League matches that the
Phoenix had come from behind to win and they moved to sixth
place on the table after 13 games.
Herbert described the performance as one of the best in the
club's six-year history.
He said 19-year-old Fenton and fellow teen Tyler Boyd, who
turns 18 in two days, had been outstanding while the return
of creative midfielder Dani Sanchez from injury had also been
But even more important was the fight back.
"The character's never left this team - you can play all the
fancy football and different styles in the world, but this
club's got some good pedigree around that," Herbert said.
"It's served us in good stead in the past and will serve us
well in the future. That was an important thing for me
tonight, that character came to the fore in abundance when we
needed it to, and the performance came as well."
The Phoenix will need every scrap of resilience in the coming
weeks, with games in Brisbane on New Year's Day and at
Melbourne Victory four days later.
Brisbane are two points and two places behind the Phoenix on
the A-League ladder, after downing second-placed Adelaide
United 1-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium on Boxing Day.