Football: Wellington Phoenix escape with draw against Melbourne Victory to keep unbeaten start to new season alive

Kosta Barbarouses against Melbourne Victory.
Kosta Barbarouses against Melbourne Victory. Photo credit: Getty Images

Wellington Phoenix remain unbeaten to start the 2023/24 A-League season, claiming a 1-1 draw away to Melbourne Victory on Friday.  

Despite not firing a single shot on the Victory's goal, the Phoenix leave Melbourne with a valuable point thanks to an own goal from Victory captain Damien Da Silva.  

However, the Phoenix will feel aggrieved at being denied the chance to steal a win after being awarded a penalty for a foul on Nicholas Pennington by Da Silva, only for the spot kick to be overturned by the video assistant referee.  

The draw sees the Phoenix second on the A-League ladder, with two wins from their opening four games, sitting behind the Victory on goals scored.

Victory opened the scoring early in the first half through midfielder Ryan Teague, only for Da Silva's error to cancel out his side's advantage after turning a Kosta Barbarouses delivery into his own net.  

Friday's encounter was all the more special for Barbarouses, who notched his 300th appearance in the A-League, across stints with the Phoenix, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.  

The majority of the Phoenix squad will now enjoy a well earned break to mark the international window, before returning to action on November 25 against Melbourne City at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart.