Sydney FC have won a record fourth A-League Premiers Plate after Wellington were held to a 1-1 draw by Adelaide United.
Sydney FC have secured a record fourth A-League Premiers Plate without playing, after Wellington were held to a 1-1 draw by Adelaide United on Saturday.
The point at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium lifted Phoenix into second place above Melbourne City on goal difference, but their failure to win means they can no longer catch the Sky Blues, who still have four games to play.
Wellington missed a glorious chance to win the game at the death, with half-time substitute Ulises Davila having a penalty saved by Paul Izzo in the 87th minute.
It was unfortunate timing for Mexican Davila to record his first miss from the spot in six A-League attempts, but the result brought joy to Sydney FC.
"We will enjoy this tonight, but we still have four games to go and targets left to hit," Sydney coach Steve Corica said.
"We want to go on and win the grand final and become back to back champions, a feat achieved by only one other club (Brisbane in 2011 and 2012)."
Davila had the opportunity to win the game from the spot after Adelaide substitute Mohamed Toure brought down Reno Piscopo, but hit a tame shot.
"We could have walked away with three points but that's football sometimes,'Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.
"Uli (Davila) has scored a lot of goals for us this season and won a lot of games for us, so I'm sure he's disappointed that he's missed."
Phoenix, who have faced the heaviest schedule of any club since the competition resumed little more than a week ago, had to come from behind in rainy and slippery conditions .
Norwegian Kristian Opseth gave Adelaide the lead on the hour as he headed home a delightful cross from Ben Halloran.
Wellington equalised five minutes later through Jaushua Sotirio.
He broke clear and while his initial shot was saved by Izzo, the former Western Sydney Wanderers forward pounced on the loose ball and slid it into the net.
Unsuccessful penalty aside, Phoenix came closest to grabbing a winner, threatening Izzo's goal three times within five minutes of drawing level.
Davila blazed over after being sent clear, Liberato Cacace had a shot pushed away by the keeper and former Adelaide player Brandon Wilson sent an effort too high.
"We could have rolled over then but the boys dug in and we fought it out and got a point and i think a draw was most probably fair"' Adelaide's interim coach Carl Veart said.
Adelaide had five attempts to Wellington's two in the first half and looked more likely to score.
Their only attempt on target, though, came from Opseth, whose header from a terrific Ryan Strain cross was tipped over the bar by Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
The draw keeps Adelaide in sixth spot.