It was a beautiful setting down at Weka Park in Raumati Beach with the sun in full show on the Kapiti Coast.
The Phoenix started off with the confidence you’d expect after the 5-0 win over Napier City Rovers last weekend. It wasn’t long before Sarpreet Singh was combining well down the left, crossing into Roy Krishna whose shot was blocked by the opposing keeper, James McPeake.
The Phoenix worked well in the final third, Krishna and Byong Soo Yoo dropping in deep to allow space in behind for Louis Fenton and Singh to exploit. Singh with an opportunity did just that, as he was put through in behind on the left. He dragged the ball back to Krishna but was saved by the keeper who denied the Nix taking the lead.
Ex-Wellington Phoenix legend, Paul Ifil, was deployed in the midfield and managed to start several counters, although the Central League Select team enjoyed very few chances on goal.
Wellington Phoenix were rampant and chances came often as Singh got in behind, attempting to play round the goalkeeper. McPeake came out on top yet again and tipped the ball away for a corner.
The deadlock was finally broken as a free kick dropped inside the box, falling to Krishna who buried it from within six yards out.
It was only moments later, and the travelling side had another chance as Yoo was fouled inside the box, with the referee giving the penalty. Krishna stepped up, hitting hard to the keeper’s right but McPeake got down well and smothered the ball denying the Nix another goal.
The Phoenix enjoyed more chances in the lead up to the break but were unable to double their lead.
In the second half, Mark Rudan rung the changes as David Williams and Nathan Burns came on in place of Krishna and Mitch Nichols and their pace began to exhaust the Central Select backline.
Singh released Williams a couple of times down the right, but the backline remained tight as the Central goalkeeper pulled off some great saves to deny Singh when inside the area.
In extra time the Phoenix doubled their lead, letting Nathan burns through on goal. He evaded several defenders to slot one in the bottom right corner, finishing the game off in style.
1. Filip KURTO, 6. Dylan FOX, 8. Mitch NICHOLS, 9. Byung Soo YOO 15. Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 19. Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 27. Steven TAYLOR.
45’ OFF 21. Roy Krishna ON 10. David Williams
56’ OFF 22. Andrew Durante ON 14. Alex Rufer
60’ OFF 16. Louis Fenton ON 5. Ryan Lowry
63’ OFF 19. Tom Doyle ON 26. Liberato Cacace
85’ OFF 5. Ryan Lowry ON 3. Callan Elliot