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Clinical Wellington Nix win at Hindmarsh

Two goals to twenty-year-old Tyler Boyd led Welington Phoenix to a crucial 3-1 win over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide had dominated the game for the most part but were unable to capitalise on a plethora of chances.

Kenny Cunningham found the first goal in the second half and although his strike was cancelled out by Cirio not long after, the visitors surged to a 3-1 win inspired by Boyd’s brace.

Adelaide was without a number of its strongest options in defence as suspensions to Nigel Boogard and Tarek Elrich saw them miss out on the crucial encounter while veteran shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic was on international duty preparing for the Asian Cup in January.

Also missing was Argentine playmaker Marcelo Carrusca who injured his groin last week in the Reds’ 3-0 triumph over Sydney.

Match Details Full match details »

Adelaide

Yellow Card66′ C.GoodwinGoal73′ S.CirioYellow Card80′ D.McGowan

Wellington

Yellow Card52′ R.BonevaciaGoal54′ K.CunninghamYellow Card63′ L.FentonYellow Card66′ A.RieraYellow Card75′ M.MuscatGoal77′ T.BoydGoal90′ T.Boyd

Paul Izzo was given a rare start in between the sticks while Craig Goodwin was pushed back into a fullback role as Awer Mabil returned to the starting line-up. Cameron Watson covered for Boogard in defence and Pablo Sanchez replaced Carrusca in midfield.

Meanwhile Wellington was missing top goal scorer Nathan Burns who, like Galekovic, was unavailable on international duty.

Also missing in attack was Roy Krishna who injured his hamstring in Phoenix’s narrow win over Western Sydney Wanderers last week.

Jeremy Brockie was awarded a rare start due to Phoenix missing its two most potent strikers. It was also the Kiwi international’s last game before he departs to South Africa.

Kenny Cunningham also started up front while Manny Muscat’s return from suspension saw Tom Doyle drop to the bench.

The hosts created the best chances to score early on and Awer Mabil proved a dangerous outlet on the right wing as he caused chaos latching onto long balls from defence.

Latching onto a long ball on the quarter hour mark, he darted into the box and gave Glen Moss a scare as his strike hit the upright on the near side but stayed out to the Phoenix ‘keeper’s relief.

Adelaide continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides throughout the first half but lacked the finishing touch and as a result, the two sides remained deadlocked going into the break.

Despite all of Adelaide’s dominance, it was Wellington who took the lead with just its second shot on goal. Jeremy Brockie was played into the box before being brought down, amidst appeals for a penalty, the striker smartly tapped the ball across the box to Kenny Cunningham who was on hand to drill the ball inside the near post.

Even after conceding, the attacking momentum stayed with the hosts but the Phoenix back four were resolute, as the majority of crosses from the wingers were cleared before any of the Reds’ targets were able to meet them.

At long last, the hosts were rewarded for their dominance with under 20 minutes remaining as Mabil launched a counter attack before picking out an unmarked Cirio at the back post who casually tapped home the equaliser.

Tensions were high shortly after the goal as Manny Muscat shoved Pablo Sanchez into the Wellington bench, which set off a scuffle between the two sets of players. Muscat was rewarded with a yellow card for his part in the clash.

Wellington regained the lead through super-sub Tyler Boyd who pounced on an errant pass in Phoenix’s attacking third and dribbled through into the box before catching Paul Izzo by surprise as he unleashed a venomous strike inside the near post.

Boyd’s decisive strike shifted the momentum somewhat as Wellington started to control proceedings in the remaining ten minutes as a desperate Adelaide side fell away.

Boyd sealed the game after a crazy period of stoppage time as Paul Izzo came up the field for an Adelaide corner and was ultimately punished on the counter attack with the final kick of the game as Boyd was unleashed in space and although Izzo had returned to his goal, he was unable to deny the youngster his well-earned brace.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Tyler Boyd (Wellington Phoenix)
2 Awer Mabil (Adelaide United)
1 Kenny Cunningham (Wellington Phoenix)
Youth Tyler Boyd (Wellington Phoenix)

About the author

avatarBorn and raised in Melbourne, Bill is a student journalist at Monash University and life-time fan of the round ball game.

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