Wellington Phoenix started in similar form to last weekend as they put three past a stunned Western Sydney Wanderers side at Westpac Stadium to take the win 3-1 on Sunday evening.
It was an emotional night following on from the horrific Christchurch terrorist attacks on Friday and plenty were in attendance as the home side put on a show in the Capital to honour those who were taken from us.
It didn’t take long for Mark Rudan’s men to find the net again as Roy Krishna worked hard to intercept a loose pass and run through on goal. Despite the tight angle, Krishna struck beyond Vedran Janjetovic and into the top corner to provide his team with the lead.
Krishna then celebrated by bowing down in honour of the victims of the attacks.
Moments later and Wellington Phoenix had doubled their lead as Mandi Sosa scored a sublime free-kick beyond a stunned Vedran Janjetovic.
Goalkeeper, Filip Kurto, was called into action after a promising Western Sydney Wanderers attack. Oriel Riera managed to get a shot away as Kurto made the all-important save to keep the two-goal deficit.
It was made even more important by the fact that only a few minutes later, David Williams struck his curling effort into the top corner to make it three-nil.
Rudan’s team were full of passion as they sought out the ball everywhere on the pitch and this was exemplified by Alex Rufer’s tough tackle to intercept an attack late on in the first half.
Into the second half and the home side set out to attack once again but Western Sydney Wanderers were stubborn at the back and held the talents of Krishna, Williams, and a lively Max Burgess who was on his creative best once again.
It was his floated free-kick that fell at the feet of an unmarked Liberato Cacace inside the away box. Unfortunately for the teenager, he couldn’t keep his volley down and it went over Janjetovic’s bar.
Controversy hit the game late on as a VAR check, decided that Burgess had fouled Bruce Kamau inside the box, as opposed to the original free kick decision on the edge of the box.
The penalty was then taken by Alexander Baumjohann, who hit his effort wide of Kurto’s post to keep the score at three-nil.
However, Wanderers did get their consolation goal late on, as Mitchell Duke managed to head beyond Kurto and into his far post.
A late substitution ensured Gianni Stensness, 20, made his first home appearance at Westpac Stadium after replacing goalscorer, Mandi.
With moments left of the game, Hyundai A-League Top scorer, Roy Krishna, got sent off for a second yellow card after an accidental raised arm.
Despite a late resurgence from Wanderers, Rudan’s men remained calm and ended with all three points and the coveted Sister City Shield.
Thank you to everyone who came out to be with our Nix family in honour of those who were so cruelly taken away from us. They will never be forgotten and will live forever in our hearts.
Full Highlights here.
1. Filip KURTO, 4. Mandi SOSA, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Antony GOLEC, 13. Liberato CACACE,14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPCZYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 23. Max Burgess
Wellington Phoenix Substitutes
84’ OFF 11. David WILLIAMS ON 7. Cillian SHERIDAN
87’ OFF 4. Mandi SOSA ON 32. Gianni STENSNESS
90+5’ OFF 23. Max BURGESS ON 5. Ryan LOWRY
Western Sydney Wanderers Substitutions
30’ OFF 33. Tate RUSSELL ON 10. Alexander BAUMJOHANN
65’ OFF 28. Rolieny BONEVACIA ON 27. Kwame YEBOAH
90+5’ OFF 24. Raul LLORENTE ON 43. Daniel WILMERING
Next Match details
Wellington Phoenix vs. Newcastle Jets, Saturday 30th March, Westpac Stadium, 7:35pm