‘That was a huge moment’: Phoenix coach weighs in on ‘momentum killer’ in defeat to Mariners

Wellington Phoenix's Mariana Speckmaier had a penalty shout in the first-half went to ground inside the 18-yard-box.

Wellington Phoenix boss Paul Temple believes his side should have been awarded a first-half spot-kick after Mariana Speckmaier had a penalty shout waved away in their 1-0 defeat to Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.

The ‘Nix’s three game winning streak came to end in Gosford courtesy of a second-half strike from substitute Annalise Rasmussen.

However, long before Rasmussen slammed home her first Liberty A-League goal in the 76th minute, Wellington had a shout for a penalty after Speckmaier went to ground following a challenge by Taren King.

Referee Azusa Sugino, however, waved play on.

“I looked at it quickly on the iPad on the bench and I felt like that was a penalty live and I felt like it was a penalty when I watched it back,” Temple said post-game.

“She’s through on goal and that was a huge, huge moment which didn’t go our way.

“Those things sometimes they go for you and sometimes they don’t, and today they didn’t see to go for us. That was a real momentum killer.”

Speckmaier was front and centre of another moment of controversy later in the game, when she caught Mariners full-back Jazmin Wardlow with a late challenge.

Referee Sugino, however, didn’t issue a booking to Speckmaier after a long chat with her assistant, much to the chagrin of the Mariners technical area.


In the end, Central Coast were able to hold strong and come away with their first home win since 2009.