A PAUL Ifill thunderbolt rescued a point for Wellington Phoenix in an exciting and at times ill-tempered 1-1 draw with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday.
The point for Phoenix keeps them in third with a home final now a distinct reality, while for the Heart it signals two points dropped despite remaining on track for a maiden A-League finals berth in fifth.
The Heart turned on a mouth-watering attacking display in the first half and found their reward through striker Eli Babalj, whose header in the 32nd minute was all that separated the sides.
Having being thoroughly outplayed, the travelling Phoenix showed great resolve in the second half and were treated to another brilliant cameo from their talisman Ifill, who tormented the Heart with a fierce strike from outside the box his third in two games against them.
Earlier, Wellington's Andrew Durante was lucky to avoid a straight red for a studs-up tackle on Jonathan Germano in the dying embers of the first half, as was Manny Muscat for a raised hand on Mate Dugandzic in the fiery aftermath.
Read the full match report on the Hyundai A-League website.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.