Goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Hamish Watson gave the Phoenix a two goal advantage, but a great fight back from Western Sydney Wanderers stole the points at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Wellington Phoenix gave up a two goal first half lead as they were knocked out of the FFA Cup beaten 3-2 by Western Sydney Wanderers in Campbelltown on Tuesday night.
After dominating the first half and playing some fine attacking football the Phoenix conceded two goals either side of halftime, both to Lachlan Scott, and were then stunned by a superb Mitch Nichols strike in the 70th minute.
Captain Andrew Durante went close to taking the game into extra time but his header from close range went agonisingly inches wide.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said he hated using clichés but it was definitely a game of two halves.
“We scored two good goals in the first half and created two one on ones with the goalkeeper who pulled off a couple of good saves,” Merrick said.
“We played some really good stuff but then conceded a sloppy goal right on half time.
“Three minutes into the second half we conceded again and we weren’t really in it from then on as they dominated midfield.
“They played a high line and caught us offside six or seven times while we didn’t catch them once which showed we were playing too deep.”
Merrick said it confirmed for him that he needed to sign a quality defender and a quality centre back.
Hamish Watson scored the Phoenix first goal after eight minutes and Kosta Barbarouses added a second 23 minutes later after receiving a superb crossfield cross from Matt Ridenton.
Starting XI | 1. Moss, 4. Bonevacia, 6. Fox, 7. Finkler, 9. Barbarouses, 10. McGlinchey, 17. Lia, 19. Doyle, 22. Durante (c), 23. Ridenton, 26. Watson (8. Rodriguez, 68')
Subs not used | 16. Fenton, 24. Rogerson, 30. Sail (GK), 32. Singh