Football: Wellington Phoenix share points in opening A-League clash of season against Macarthur FC at Newcastle

Wellington Phoenix have opened the new A-League season with a 1-1 draw against Macarthur FC at Newcastle.

Played in wet and windy conditions at McDonald Jones Stadium, Lachlan Rose's 61st-minute strike cancelled out Gary Hooper's first-half penalty to ensure both teams started their seasons with a point each.

The Phoenix offered more threat than Macarthur in the opening half and their efforts were rewarded in the 24th minute, when playmaker Reno Piscopo was upended by James Meredith.

Former Celtic star Hooper slotted home calmly to give Wellington a deserved lead, which they held, until Rose's thumping strike with half-an-hour to play, as the Phoenix wasted most of their 20 shots on target, with former club keeper Filip Kurto denying them victory.

Coach Ufuk Talay feels a draw was probably a fair result, but is upset his team gave up a goal from a set-piece.

"You'd expect them to come out at us in the second half, 1-0 down, and we weathered the storm quite well," he says.

"Disappointed to concede a goal through a set-piece like that and then we had a couple of opportunities at the back-end to possibly win it.

"At the end of day, I think a draw was a fair result."

Next weekend, the Phoenix host Western Sydney at their temporary Wollongong base.