Wellington Phoenix is without doubt the A-League's unsung hero factory.
Understrength but never overwhelmed, Phoenix churned out another against-the-odds performance for a gritty 1-1 draw against 10-man Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Sunday to stay unbeaten this season.
Minus seven players and its coach on international duty and with a team sheet of debutants and no-names, Phoenix confounded predictions they would be hammered by in-form Heart.
But Wellington's cause was greatly enhanced by Heart being reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Simon Colosimo was sent off for deliberately handballing a goalbound shot.
Trailing 1-0 at the time after Heart had the better chances throughout the first half, Paul Ifill banged home the resulting penalty to level the scores.
Then it withstood Heart and created several more chances of its own to ensure a deserved share of the points.
Heart looked on track to add to its opening-week win in the first half, taking a 20th minute lead through a superb Matt Thompson goal.
Fullback Aziz Behich won a ball deep in defence, ran 70m and crossed to midfielder Fred, who laid the ball back for Thompson to drive home.
But Heart was made to pay for squandering several good chances when Colosimo illegally played goalkeeper to push Alex Smith's certain goal over the bar.
Colosimo's sending-off altered the game markedly.
Phoenix - with wingers Louis Fenton and Ifill prominent - then took command and stretched Heart.
It came closest to a second when Ifill was put through on goal but he lofted a good chance.
Then defender Michael Boxall turned Phoenix's hero, clearing a Dylan Macallister chance off the line with 13 minutes left - Heart's best chance of a winner.
It was yet another addition to the perennial finalist's long history of confounding A-League expectations.
Both Phoenix and Heart have a win and a draw from their opening two matches of the season.
Wellington Phoenix's recruitment under coach Ernie Merrick began with the signing of 22-year-old former Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.