Mark Rudan’s team came out attacking the Hyundai A-League leaders, Perth Glory on what was a perfect evening for football in Wellington.
The Phoenix Head Coach brought in attacking midfield option Sarpreet Singh, partnering him with the pacey attackers, Roy Krishna and Nathan Burns up front and it didn’t take long to take effect.
Burns latched on to a defensive mistake from the away side, bearing down on goal, but his effort went wide of Liam Reddy’s post.
The front three were pressing the Perth Glory backline high up the pitch, forcing them go to go long and lose possession.
In the 19th minute, goalkeeper Filip Kurto collided with striker Andy Keogh and the former stayed down having suffered worse than his opposition. Rudan was forced in to a goalkeeping change early on as Kurto was replaced by Oliver Sail between the posts.
The home side were definitely the stronger team, both in possession and chances as the deadlock was broken just before the break. Krishna capitalised on a deflection inside the Perth box and smashed his effort low into the net beyond Reddy.
History had been made as Krishna became the all-time leading goal scorer for the Wellington Phoenix, notching his 34th to overtake Paul Ifill.
RECORD BREAKER | @RoyKrishna21 is now the all time leading goalscorer of the Wellington Phoenix on 34 goals! Congratulations Roy, you deserve this ?#TopScorer #StandUpWithYourNix #DistanceDerby #WELvPER pic.twitter.com/VSzxmAEyPs
— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) December 2, 2018
Heading in to the second half, the home side kept up their momentum by pressing the visitors back in to their own half.
A nicely threaded ball through from Burns came to Krishna inside the Perth box but his shot was well saved by Reddy.
In the 75th minute, the referee went to review a Ryan Lowry challenge that happened moments earlier and decided to send the defender off for a dangerous tackle.
Wellington Phoenix fans were stunned as the home side went down to 10 men and shortly after Perth Glory capitalised on the dismissal when Castro shot from close range to equalise, setting up for a nervy ending.
However, Wellington Phoenix defended with their lives and saw out the game, unlucky not to keep all three points at Westpac Stadium.
Full Time Highlights here.
1.Filip KURTO, 4. Mandi SOSA, 9. Nathan BURNS, 13. Liberate CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPCZYNSKI 16. Louis Fenton, 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 27. Steven TAYLOR
Wellington Phoenix Substitutions
19’ OFF 1. Filip KURTO ON 20. Oliver SAIL
71’ OFF 14. Alex RUFER ON 5. Ryan LOWRY
79’ OFF 9. Nathan BURNS ON. 3. Rueben WAY
Perth Glory Substitutions
57’ OFF15. Brendan WILSON ON. 20. Jake BRIMMER
64’ OFF 7. Joel CHIANESE ON 17. Diego CASTRO
80’ OFF 6. Dino DJULBIC ON. 11. Brendan SANTALAB
Next Match Details
Sydney FC vs. Wellington Phoenix, Saturday 8th December 2018, 7:35pm, Jubilee Stadium