Wellington Phoenix were left disappointed after losing 2-0 to Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Despite taking an early lead through Ritchie De Laet’s low drive, Wellington Phoenix enjoyed chances to draw level as Sarpreet Singh went closest. His looping free kick was palmed away by Eugene Galekovic to force a corner.
Mitch Nichols had a half-chance with his cross into the box, but the connection wasn’t there to direct it goalwards.
The Wellington Phoenix backline performed well again, with Captain Andrew Durante stretching to deny the home side a clear chance on goal.
Goalkeeper Filip Kurto was in fine form once more, as he made a string of saves to deny Melbourne City taking a further lead. Bruno Fornaroli went through on goal and Kurto reacted well to get down low and block his shot.
David Williams was lively throughout, chasing down a through ball with Galekovic missing the clearance but Williams was unable to keep it in to capitalise on the goalkeeper’s error.
Melbourne City doubled their lead after Fornaroli collected the ball outside the box and curled his effort beyond Kurto and into the top corner.
A quickly taken free kick by Singh came out to Nichols whose shot blasted against a concealed arm of the Melbourne defence with the referee ruling out a potential penalty.
Head Coach Mark Rudan made his attacking changes, giving Michal Kopczyński his debut in the Hyundai A-League but Melbourne kept tight at the back to claim all three points.
Rudan is still very confident about the progression and development of his side and pinpointed the difference between the two sides.
"We’re still very early in our development phase.
"There was a big difference in attitude and effort from last week which was good.
"I wanted a reaction and I certainly got it, in that regard.
"Melbourne City are a good side playing at home, with quality players and it took two strikes from outside the box."
1.Filip KURTO, 4. Mandi SOSA, 6. Dylan FOX, 8. Mitch NICHOLS, 11. David WILLIAMS, 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 19. Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 27. Steven TAYLOR
Wellington Phoenix Substitutions
71’ OFF 22. Andrew Durante ON 23. Max Burgess
73’ OFF 18. Sarpreet Singh ON 15. Michal Kopczyński
82’ OFF 4. Mandi Sosa ON 14. Alex Rufer
Melbourne City Substitutions
51’ OFF 13. Nathaniel Atkinson ON 10. Dario Vidosic
79’ OFF 19. Lachlan Wales ON 7. Rostyn Griffiths
86’ OFF 23. Bruno Fornaroli ON 34. Connor Metcalfe
Next Match Details
Wellington Phoenix vs. Adelaide United, Saturday 24th November, Westpac Stadium, 7:35pm (NZT)