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Van 't Schip rues draw, Merrick wants reviews

The spoils were shared at AAMI Park on Sunday, leaving one coach bemoaning his team's failure to nab a winner, while the other wants officials to revisit contentious decisions

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip lamented missed opportunities as his side all but blew their chance of making the finals with a 2-2 draw against 10-man Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Despite having a man advantage for more than 60 minutes, Heart simply could not find a winner after twice managing to come from behind.

Van 't Schip believes it is now 'difficult' for Heart to make the finals after the result which sees his side six points and significant goal difference behind sixth-placed Adelaide United.

"In the back of our mind we know that we still can (make finals) and we want to be there," van 't Schip said.

"Mathematically we are still in the race but it's going to be very difficult.

"In the end with all the ball possession and the opportunities that we created or at least near to create, we should have got the three points.

"We didn't outplay them good enough. If you create chance after chance after chance, in the end you will score.

"The quality was not there to finish it off."

Heart's remaining four matches comprise of battles against teams in the top six as they take on Central Coast (home), Brisbane Roar (away), Adelaide United (away) and Western Sydney (home), leaving them with an uphill battle to make the top six.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick, meanwhile, has lambasted the FFA's review system as his side's finals hopes were also dealt a blow by Sunday's draw.

Several controversial refereeing decisions marred the match which saw Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund dismissed for two bookable offences, a Patrick Kisnorbo handball on the goal line not sighted by the officials and a debatable penalty awarded after Heart captain Harry Kewell went down in the area.

Merrick says he is confused by the FFA's methods of reviewing incidents after receiving a letter from the governing body outlining that off-the-ball incidents in the previous two games on Reece Caira and Kenny Cunningham would not be analysed.

"In the past these games were reviewed and if there was simulation or violent conduct behind the play or during play that wasn't picked up by the referee then it used to be reviewed - but it doesn't seem to work that way now," Merrick said.

"If you don't review them then people have success getting away with it if the referee is unsighted."

The Phoenix tactician was proud of his players for obtaining a result after playing with 10 men for more than 60 minutes, particularly as he felt Sigmund's dismissal was harsh.

"Results are never fair, you get what you fight for, and we fought for it and got a draw," he said.

"If we had 11 players on the field I had a good feeling about getting the win.

"I thought the two yellow cards were very tough on Ben (Sigmund), especially the second one, and the penalty made me thought it doesn't get much tougher than this.

"But the boys dug deep and fought hard and what doesn't kill you gives you a draw."