A-League: Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay defends Ulises Davila after penalty miss in Adelaide United draw

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay refuses to lay blame on Ulises Davila for his poor penalty attempt during his side's 1-1 draw against Adelaide United on Saturday night. 

Davila had his penalty kick saved by Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo in the 87th minute, ending the Mexican's perfect record from the spot this season. 

The goal would've secured a come-from-behind win for the Phoenix, who trailed 1-0 midway through the second half. 

Adelaide hit the front through Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth in the 60th minute, but that was quickly cancelled out, when Josh Sotirio found the back of the net five minutes later. 

Despite the result, the Phoenix moved above Melbourne City into second place on the A-League standings, although the draw means Talay's side can't catch Sydney FC atop the ladder. 

"Uli has scored a lot of goals for us this season and won a lot of games for us," says Talay. "I'm sure he's disappointed that he's missed, but that's football sometimes.

"I'm very proud of the group and proud of the depth in the squad we have. We could have walked away with three points, but that's football."

Ufuk Talay.
Ufuk Talay. Photo credit: Photosport

After beating Perth Glory 72 hours earlier, Talay made six changes to his team, with youngsters Callan Elliot and Sam Sutton earning their first A-League starts. 

Regular starters Luke DeVere, David Ball, Cameron Devlin and Matti Steinmann did not feature in the match, while Gary Hooper and captain Steven Taylor both came off in the second half for well-earned rests. 

"We had three games in [nine] days, so there was always going to be a chance that we'd have to rotate and rest players," Talay adds. 

"When you think about it, having 3-4 months off and playing three games in a short span was always going to be tough."

Their next outing is against Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday.

Join us for live updates of the Phoenix v Wanderers A-League match from 9:30pm Friday