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Huysegems earns Phoenix their first win

WELvSYDWellington finally claimed their first win of the season with a determined 1-0 victory over a mediocre Sydney FC side who looked lost without Alessandro Del Piero. It was a well-earned three points for Ernie Merrick’s side, dominating the contest after Stein Huysegems scored in the 33rd minute.

Wellington created the first real opportunity on goal in the 6th minute when Huysegems met a long ball from Riera and burst into the box, yet his left-footed attempt flashed high and wide.

It was Sydney’s turn to trouble the Wellington goal and they went close to scoring in the 8th minute. Despotovic’s pass across goal was met by a sliding Chianese, but he was unable to direct the ball into an empty net.

The Phoenix went closer in the 10th minute when Ifill met a Hernandez through ball and cut it back to Huysegems. The Belgian made his way through on goal but the shot cannoned off the post into the back of Janjetovic’s head, somehow deflecting away to safety.

Wellington continued to press and a Hernandez corner in the 18th minute found a free Cunningham who scuffed his half-volley high and wide; two minutes later, a dangerous Fenton ball flashed across goal with both Huysegems or Ifill unable to meet it.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sun Dec 22, 2013, 5:00 PMStadium Westpac StadiumAttendance 6,339Referee Peter O’Leary

Wellington

Goal33′ S.HuysegemsYellow Card80′ J.BrockieYellow Card82′ A.Durante

Sydney

Yellow Card74′ C.Gameiro

It seemed to be another frustrating game for the Phoenix and they were almost their own worst enemy in the 26th minute. A weak pass from Muscat gifted Sydney possession and Despotovic only had Moss to beat, yet the striker could only find the side netting.

From then on, though, it was all Wellington. A slip up from the Sydney defence in the 32nd minute put Ifill through on goal – his shot denied by a diving Janjetovic.

The warning signs weren’t heeded by Sydney FC and they paid for it just a minute later. Picking up possession in the midfield, Hernandez played a slick through ball to an onside Huysegems who cooly rounded Janjetovic before slotting home to make it 1-0.

The second half started horribly for the Phoenix, with Ifill forced off with what appeared to be an Achilles injury. His replacement Brockie quickly entered the action, charging through the midfield in the 56th minute before his driving shot from the edge of the box went just wide into the side netting.

Sydney FC were toothless without the playmaking skills of Del Piero and could only manage a handful of half-chances, with a 58th minute Despotovic strike and two separate Thompson attempts going nowhere near the target.

Wellington deserved their lead and the combination play between Hernandez and Huysegems continued to be the catalyst for their best opportunities. A pass from the Belgian in the 65th minute found Hernandez close to goal and his hard strike was well saved by Janjetovic.

The Costa Rican returned the favour in the 80th minute when another Hernandez through ball met Huysegems, yet the resulting shot was blocked by a stretching Jurman. Huysegems had yet another opportunity to seal the game in the 91st minute when Brockie screened the Sydney defence for him but the striker blasted his shot well wide.

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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