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Phoenix consign Wanderers to another loss

Another sumptuous evening of football was found across the ditch this evening as the Wellington Phoenix hosted the struggling Western Sydney Wanderers.

Coming into the match as the form side of the league, the ‘Nix were relishing a home tie following their impressive performance against Sydney FC the previous week.

The home side didn’t disappoint in terms of their style of football, as Burns peppered the hands of Ante Covic with a well hit strike just five minutes in.

The Wanderers, still winless in the league this season, struggled significantly with the pace of the Phoenix attack, particularly that of the impressive Roy Krishna.

The Fijian, who had scored four goals prior to this match, won a penalty against seventeen year old fullback Daniel Alessi, who was penalised for a very innocuous challenge inside the box.

Krishna stood tall at his run up for the penalty, and even after seeing his effort saved well by Covic, the speedy winger reacted fastest to smash home the rebound.

Match Details Full match details »

Wellington

Goal14′ R.KrishnaYellow Card31′ B.Sigmund

Western Sydney

None

The Wanderers responded admirably, with much of their attacking purpose being driven by the expertise of Socceroo Tomi Juric, who’s eighteenth minute effort slid wide following a precise knockdown from Nikita Rukavytsya.

As the half hour mark passed, the Wanderers stepped it up another notch, and Brendan Hamill’s header from a set piece would’ve been the equaliser had it been directed either side of Glen Moss.

Juric then had another gilt-edged chance to equalise for the visitors, but his header flashed wide of the post as half-time approached.

However, that was until the Phoenix sprung back into life and nearly produced one of the goals of the season.

After a coherent lead up, including two ‘scorpion kick’ passes, Roy Krishna’s half-volley was blocked expertly again by Covic, with it seemingly destined to nestle in the far corner of the net.

The end-to-end stuff did not cease after the half time break, as we were again treated to some excellent football.

Just five minutes in, Juric was slid in expertly from midfield, only to see himself denied once again at the hands of All Whites goalkeeper Moss.

From there, the profligacy curse instead fell upon the star striker of the Phoenix, Nathan Burns.

It must have been hellish for coach Ernie Merrick, and Ange Postecoglou alike, to see Burns be denied on so many occasions, particularly given his form in recent weeks.

First, after seeing an edge-of-the-box strike saved, Burns was then slid in and denied at the near post, before shanking a one-on-one over the bar, all in the space of ten minutes.

Burns was involved again shortly after that, as he provided a one-two for Louis Fenton, finding Jeremy Brockie who could only curl the ball over the bar.

While the end-to-end entertainment continued, it became inevitable that the Phoenix would sneak through with a 1-0 win.

There was one minor hiccup as substitute Jaushua Sotirio found himself played onside by a fatigued Wellington defence. Luckily for them, Moss was on point once again to deny the visitors.

Ultimately it was the home side’s day as the Wanderers board yet another plane home this evening, wondering when they will get their rub of the green. They face a resurgent Central Coast on New Years day, but will have to make do without Tomi Juric as he joins the Socceroos for the Asian Cup.

Today’s winners have a much tougher prospect on their hands, travelling to second-place Adelaide United on New Years Eve.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix)
2 Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix)
1 Antony Golec (Western Sydney)
Youth Tom Doyle (Wellington Phoenix)

About the author

avatarAlessandro is an avid Sydney FC fan, and a contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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