Concentration lapses cost Adelaide United a golden chance to snatch pole position for the first time this season in Wollongong on Sunday.
Israeli international Tomer Hemed scored the winner from the penalty spot for Wellington Phoenix in the seventh minute of stoppage time in a 2-1 win at WIN Stadium.
Reds gloveman Joe Gauci flooring Phoenix substitute Jaushua Sotirio during a Phoenix forward thrust when the final whistle was seconds away saw Adelaide drop all points after taking the lead.
Adelaide’s Stefan Mauk scored the second half opener.
Phoenix’s Ben Waine squared the ledger before the sides meet again at Hindmarsh in 12 days.
“Deflated, we were 1-0 up and we had a lot of good chances to make it 2-0,’’ Mauk told Fox Sports.
“It’s disappointing because we have become accustomed to winning and it’s disappointing.”
Ryan Strain came close to scoring his first A-League…