Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van’t Schip has urged his side to keep fighting until the end following their 2-2 draw with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van-t Schip has urged his side to keep fighting until the end following their 2-2 draw with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Heart had to come from behind twice in the game to snatch a point despite the Phoenix playing with a man less for the majority of the game, after Ben Sigmund was shown two yellow cards in the space of two minutes in the first-half.
It was always going to be a difficult task for Heart after conceding in just the sixth minute when Fijian international Roy Krishna put the Phoenix ahead.
Jonatan Germano equalised after getting a touch on Mate Dugandzic-s strike, but Phoenix re-took the lead early in the second-half through youngster Tyler Boyd.
But Heart never gave up and a penalty won by Harry Kewell shortly afterwards, which was converted by David Williams, levelled the match and took Williams's tally in 2013-14 to 11 goals.
Van-t Schip described the game as “strange” and thought Heart should have taken all three points based on their performance.
“We had problems first coming from behind, and the second time again against 10 men,” van-t Schip said.
“It was a very strange game at the end as well with a few decisions that were very difficult for the referee.
“In the end with all the ball possession and all the opportunities created, or at least near to create, we should have of course got the three points. That-s why it-s disappointing.”
With four games remaining in the Hyundai A-League season, a draw against the Phoenix dashed the Club-s chances of making a second finals appearance in three years.
“Mathematically we-re still in the race but it-s of course very difficult,” van-t Schip said.
“In the back of our minds we know that we still can be there. Coming from that far away it was already a big compliment for the boys.
“Also today they fought and showed a lot of skills and attacking football. I think defensively we were a lot of the times a bit out of shape and not compact enough.
“I think we could see today as well the energy is still there. We have to keep fighting until the end to finish in a very good way.
“If we don-t get in to the finals, there-s a lot of other things we can play for which is why we should just keep on going.”