KARL DODD’S first Hyundai A-League goal came at a perfect time for the Wellington Phoenix as the visitors scored a gutsy 1-0 win against the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
KARL DODD-S first Hyundai A-League goal came at a perfect time for the Wellington Phoenix as the visitors scored a gutsy 1-0 win against the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
The centre back-s glancing header in the 53rd minute was decisive as the Phoenix grabbed three important competition points in sweltering conditions at Bluetongue Stadium.
As well as the milestone of Dodd scoring his first Hyundai A-League goal, the win also got the Phoenix off the mark for their first win against the Mariners in Hyundai A-League competition.
“I-m just happy we got three points,” Dodd said after the match. “To win away from home is always important and I-m happy I was able to contribute.”
Dodd was the standout in a resolute Phoenix back four that held the Mariners at bay at their seaside home. The Phoenix both repelled and created chances in an entertaining match before big enforcer Dodd made the difference not long following the restart from a goalless first half.
Eight minutes into the second half and it was Shane Smeltz-s goalbound drive that demanded a quality save Danny Vukovic, the Mariners keeper parrying the ball out for a corner.
Leilei Gao-s subsequent low set-piece cross was met by the Dodd, who clipped a perfectly placed header past Vukovic for what proved the winner.
“It was a good cross. That-s something we-ve probably been lacking a wee bit – good delivery,” Dodd said. “It-s all about creating opportunities and I-m stoked I was able to get on the end of one and put it in the net.”
Dodd said the Mariners put up a good fight in hot and humid conditions.
“It was a real bun-fight; they-ve got some big boys and they threw everything at us. But we weren-t really under too much pressure on too many occasions and when we were we managed to shut them down.”
Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert lauded his side-s fortitude in tough conditions.
“Gosford-s a nice place to get three points – for the first time – and the boys were well up for it. It was bloody hot on the sideline, I-ll tell you that, and we were certainly slugging back the Powerade.”
Having grabbed seven points from the possible nine in their previous three matches, the Phoenix now look to this weekend-s home clash against Queensland Roar with confidence on an upward swing.
“We were solid against the Mariners and did what we had to do,” Herbert said. “Now we-ve got some momentum to carry into the game against Queensland. The confidence is there and the boys will be up for it at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.”
The Phoenix-s next match, against the Queensland Roar, kicks off at 5pm (NZDT) on Sunday, October 26.