Wellington Phoenix Battle Through First Defeat of the Season


Much like the weather, results didn’t go Wellington Phoenix’s way this evening as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers at Westpac Stadium. 

The team were in high spirits having enjoyed the best start to a campaign in many years.

Head Coach, Mark Rudan had mentioned earlier in the week he was prepared to do things differently, and for the first time this season the starting XI had new faces added. The inclusion of winger Max Burgess and pass master Mitch Nichols were brought into add further quality in the attacking third.

The tough weather conditions had an effect on both teams with long passes going astray for the majority of the game.

Western Sydney had a bright start with former Phoenix player Roly Bonevacia bearing down on goal, only for his effort to lift high above the bar.

Louis Fenton also enjoyed a solid start, making things happen down the right wing. After rounding Raúl Llorente, he crossed in a great ball to Roy Krishna with his back to goal. He was unable to turn, and the ball was cleared by the opposing Captain in Brendan Hamill.

Steven Taylor was keen to register himself on the scoresheet after he attempted to get on the end of a Tom Doyle free kick but Vedran Janjetović caught well and cleared the danger.

In the 11th minute Western Sydney Wanderers broke the deadlock after Bonevacia played a through ball and Alexander Baumjohann finished off to give the away side the lead.

Halfway through the second half and Krishna felt hard done by. He ran on to a loose ball from Wanderers, only to be nudged out of the way with the referee waving away the penalty shouts.

Wellington Phoenix maintained their solidity at the back with Filip Kurto making some fantastic saves to deny them another goal as Wanderers headed into the break with the advantage.

The second half and Phoenix came out stronger, determined to get a result and continue their great start to the season.

A string of consecutive corners put Phoenix on the front foot, but the final corner was caught by the wind and Liberato Cacace was unable to get a proper connection to threaten the away goal.

In the 54th minute, a shot from outside the box appeared to hit the arm of Andrew Durante, with the referee giving the penalty. Riera Magem stepped up and buried it to double the away lead.

Rudan brought on attacking firepower in the form of Nathan Burns, Sarpreet Singh and David Williams with the former hitting the woodwork in the final minutes.

Phoenix threatened to get a goal back, but a counter attack was the final undoing of the Phoenix as Jordan O’Doherty was played through on goal and he finished to make sure all three points flew back to Sydney. 


Starting XI

1.Filip KURTO, 4. Mandi, 8. Mitch NICHOLS, 13. Liberato CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 16. Louis FENTON, 19. Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA,  22. Andrew DURANTE, 23. Max BURGESS, 27. Steven TAYLOR


Wellington Phoenix Substitutions

59’ OFF 23. Max Burgess ON 9. Nathan Burns

62’ OFF 8. Mitch Nichols ON 18. Sarpreet Singh

90’ OFF 22. Andrew Durante ON 11. David Williams

Western Sydney Wanderers Substitutions

77’ OFF 11. Bruce Kamau ON 16. Jaushua Sotirio

90+4’ OFF 10. Alexander Baumjohann ON 22. Rashid Mahazi


Next Match Details 

Melbourne City vs. Wellington Phoenix, Friday 9th November, AAMI Park, 9:50pm NZT