14 Aug 2010

Phoenix can't close out a wet one

12:45 pm on 14 August 2010

The Wellington Phoenix football coach Ricki Herbert wants officials to look at postponing matches when there's too much rain, after their soggy 3-3 draw with Gold Coast United at a rain-soaked Westpac Stadium in the capital on Friday night.

The referee considered called the two captains together at half-time and offered to call the A-League game off when the Phoenix led 2-1, but Herbert says the match shouldn't have even started in the atrocious weather.

He thinks it's a big question for the officials and it's no good asking at half-time, though his skipper Andrew Durante says the Phoenix would've been awarded all three points if it had been called off then.

Herbert says the two teams had all weekend to play the fixture and and there's not much to take out of the game apart from the point.

The Phoenix got their season opener off to a perfect start with a sixth minute goal to Paul Ifill before Shane Smeltz equalised half an hour later with the United striker's first ever goal against his old side, a free header after some poor marking.

Chris Greenacre struck right back in some goulmouth pinball a minute afterwards for 2-1 then extended the lead early in the second half.

But another goal in the 74th minute to Gold Coast's All Whites striker Smeltz kept the visitors in the match and they levelled the scores just a few minutes before fulltime through a Jason Culina header.

New side the Melbourne Heart also drew, 1-1 at Newcastle.