Western Sydney missed the chance to close the gap on Brisbane Roar at the top of the A-League with a 0-0 draw at Wellington on Sunday.
The Wanderers went onto the game at the Westpac Stadium as heavy favourites to bounce back from their defeat in Brisbane last week, but the Phoenix – who are still awaiting their first win this term – created the better chances.
Carlos Hernandez spurned the best opportunity of the game for the hosts midway through the first half when he shot wide after excellent work from Stein Huysegems.
Kenny Cunningham also forced Wanderers keeper Ante Covic into a couple of saves in the first half, while the visitors – who missed the creativity of Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono, who was out with a groin injury – were unable to break the deadlock through Labinot Haliti.
Phoenix substitute Paul Ifill almost snatched all three points in the closing stages but the former Millwall and Crystal Palace man could only hit the post.
Sunday’s other A-League game ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw between Melbourne Heart and Adelaide United at AAMI Park.
Bottom-placed Heart looked set to fall to their sixth straight A-League defeat as Adelaide raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes.
Steven Lustica opened the scoring after just three minutes, before Sergio Cirio doubled the visitors’ advantage on the quarter-hour mark.
An Andrea Migliorini double early in the second half drew the hosts level, before David Williams put them on course for a first win of the campaign by converting a 71st-minute penalty.
However, Heart coach John Aloisi was forced to settle for a point when Marcelo Carrusca equalised for Adelaide 13 minutes from time.