All eyes may have been on new recruit Scott McDonald, but it was another substitute who stole the headlines for the Brisbane Roar.

McDonald, the 36-year-old former Socceroo, made his first appearance for his his new A-League club in Saturday's 1-0 win over Wellington.

But youngster Dylan Wenzel-Halls was the match-winner at Suncorp Stadium.

The 22-year-old came off the bench for his first appearance since December 13 and made an instant impact with a clinical finish in the 69th minute.

Wenzel-Halls then displayed his trademark never-say-die attitude to constantly hurry the Phoenix defence and should have had a late assist.

However Brad Inman fluffed a simple finish in the game's dying stages.

After being out of the picture for a month, coach Robbie Fowler could only praise Wenzel-Halls for making the most of his opportunity.

"Dylan's worked hard in training, he's a great kid, we love having him here," Fowler said after the game.

"His attitude's spot on and look it's a case of him keeping on doing what he's doing. Keep working hard and keep putting in performances like that.

"He can make me tear my hair out at times but obviously he's done a job today."

Regular opportunities has been the one thing the south-east Queensland product has struggled for since making his A-League debut last season.

In 28 A-League games, Wenzel-Halls has scored six goals including a memorable double against Sydney FC last February.

But only 14 of those appearances have been starts.

Having fallen behind 20-year-old Mirza Muratovic, Wenzel-Halls will be hoping his cameo against the Phoenix will put him squarely in Fowler's thinking heading in to next weekend's trip to Gosford to face Central Coast.

"With players who come in, they need to make it hard for you. Dylan's made it hard," Fowler said.

'I'm not going to sit here and say he's going to be playing next week. We've got a lot of training sessions before that."