A-League: Controversial red card proves costly for Wellington Phoenix in draw with Perth Glory

Wellington Phoenix have squandered a two-goal lead to finish with a 2-2 draw in their A-League clash with Perth Glory in Palmerston North on Saturday.

Oskar Zawada and Kosta Barbourses each found the net in the first half, before David Williams reduced the Glory's deficit to a goal heading into the interval.

The contest's decisive moment came in the 55th minute, when Phoenix defender Tim Payne copped a controversial red card.

Payne was shown a yellow card for his marginal contact on Williams, who pursued a pass to put him through on goal.

But the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) soon intervened, prompting a second look at the incident by referee Lachlan Keevers. Upon further review pitchside, Keevers determined Payne's challenge met the threshold for a red, reducing the hosts to 10 men for the rest of the match.

A determined Phoenix defence repelled several attacking forays by the Glory, until Williams headed home the equaliser in the 80th minute.

Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay called the referee's decision to upgrade his card "soft", insisting it had a significant impact on the match.

"Obviously the officials had a long look at it and decided it was a red card, which I thought was quite soft," said Talay.

"We had to change our formation and we had to make a sub. I felt the boys did well. Just probably that last lapse and they score the second.

“To be honest, I could possibly say we got a bit lucky. The ball hit the post a couple of times.

"The main thing was playing with 10 men we didn't lose the game and we walk away with one point."

The result means the Phoenix move into provisional third place on the competition ladder.

They'll head back across the ditch for their next game against Melbourne Victory on Friday.

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Zawada 11th min, Barbarouses 20th min) Perth Glory 2 (Williams 22th min, 80th min).