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Phoenix prevail in Wellington thriller

Wellington Phoenix have recorded a famous 3-2 victory over Brisbane Roar on Saturday night, in a thrilling yet topsy-turvy game at Westpac Stadium.

The Roar’s early lead was cancelled out by two strikes either side of half time, before Brisbane equalised in the 60th minute. But a 76th minute winner for Wellington ensured that the Phoenix fans went home the happier of the two sets of fans.

After his side’s important away win in Perth last week, Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick elected to make no changes to either his match-day squad or his starting XI, with captain Andrew Durante’s calf injury keeping him at least a week away from returning to action.

For the unbeaten Roar, goalkeeper Jamie Young takes the field in place of the injured Michael Theo. Jerome Polenz and Dimitri Petratos also took a spot in John Aloisi’s starting side, with Corey Brown and Steven Lustica relegated to the substitutes bench.

This clash typically produces plenty of goals for both sides, with no Brisbane vs Wellington match ending in a scoreless draw in the history of the A-League. With the amount of attacking pedigree on show for both sides, it seemed unlikely that that would change.

Brisbane had the better of the early chances, the majority of which came from corners. On two of those occasions, however, Polenz misfired and sent the ball well wide of the net.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sat Oct 24, 2015, 5:15 PMStadium Westpac StadiumAttendance 6,103Referee Jarred Gillett

Wellington

Goal36′ M.McGlincheyGoal49′ R.KrishnaYellow Card76′ A.RieraGoal78′ B.PowellYellow Card83′ T.Doyle

Brisbane

Yellow Card7′ J.PolenzGoal26′ D.PetratosGoal60′ J.North

Wellington’s first chance, despite plenty of possession, came after 24 minutes when Michael McGlinchey broke away with the ball on the left wing, advancing unchallenged to the edge of the penalty area. The Kiwi international laid the ball in front of Roy Krishna, who disappointingly put his shot wide.

Two minutes later, and Wellington would be made to pay for that miss as Brisbane went ahead 1-0.

The Roar stole the ball and quickly counter-attacked down the left through Broich, who cut inside a defender before putting the ball in the path of Petratos. The young attacker took one touch, cut onto his left boot before curling the ball into the corner of the net past the diving Moss.

The goal seemed to spark the Phoenix into action, with Sarpong (in the 30th minute) and Krishna (in the 34th minute) both producing quality saves out of Young.

A free kick 30 yards out in the 35th minute, however, would provide the Phoenix with the goal they were searching for. McGlinchey stepped up to the ball before curling a wicked effort over the wall and into the net past a desperate, diving Young.

Before half-time, the Roar started to take the ascendancy. A 42nd minute first-time effort by Jamie Maclaren caught the Phoenix unaware, but fortunately for the home side, the ball trickled just wide of the far post.

The second half began in very open fashion, with action swinging from end to end.

Four minutes into the half, and the Phoenix would go ahead. A long ball out of the Phoenix defence was misjudged by Jade North, who proceeded to only head the ball into the path of Krishna. The Fijian played in Sarpong, who then returned the favour to allow Krishna to finish inside the near post with aplomb.

The Phoenix had their tails up, and looked likely to add a third if for some polish with their final delivery into the box.

North would make up for his earlier error on the hour mark, and bring his side back on level pegging. A corner to the near post couldn’t be cleared properly, with McGlinchey’s attempt miscued to North in space, who found the back of the net via a touch from Moss.

The game began to settle down around the 70 minute mark, with the majority of the game played outside the two penalty areas.

Out of the lull, though, came another goal. Michael McGlinchey and Thomas Doyle combined well down the left, with the latter receiving the ball in behind the Roar defensive line. Doyle’s low cross to the back post found substitute Blake Powell — who’d only been on the field for a matter of minutes — for the easiest of tap-in finishes to make it 3-2.

A tense final 15 minutes ensued for the now-shirtless Phoenix fans in the Yellow Fever, but their side was up to the task — holding on for a famous victory.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Albert Riera (Wellington Phoenix)
2 Roly Bonevacia (Wellington Phoenix)
1 Tom Doyle (Wellington Phoenix)

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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