Wellington Phoenix produced a stunning second-half display to come from behind and beat Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in front of over 10,000 strong at Westpac Stadium in NZ's Capital of Football.
The Mariners started off on the front foot as Mike Mulvey’s side were looking for their first win of the season and it was looking likely heading into the break.
Mariners won a penalty in the early stages and Captain, Matt Simon slotted in the spot kick to provide the first goal for his side.
Moments later and Mariners hit the counter as Andrew Hoole made no mistake in firing past Filip Kurto to double the lead.
Wellington Phoenix then managed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck towards the break as they looked to make a comeback in the second half.
Mark Rudan brought on Irishman Cillian Sheridan in the second half for his home ground debut and instantly Wellington Phoenix looked to provide the attacking intent that had been plentiful in recent weeks.
Kurto made a vital save moments before Roy Krishna ran free on the Mariners goal, only to be bundled over by defender Kye Rowles, who received a red card for the foul.
Top scorer, Krishna, made no mistake in slotting home and cutting the Mariner’s lead, providing hope for the Phoenix fans.
It wasn’t long before they were cheering again as Krishna was brought down inside the box yet again, this time by Jacob Melling. The Fijian maestro stepped up and slotted home to equalise.
The comeback was complete as Krishna drove at the Mariners defence and the ball eventually found its way through for David Williams, who smashed the ball home to provide his team the lead.
However, there was plenty of time for Mariners to grab an equaliser and they nearly achieved it moments before full-time. Jordan Murray slid the ball beyond Kurto but the referee called it off for an offside.
Wellington Phoenix kept pressing and were rewarded for their second-half performance with all three points at Westpac Stadium.
Full highlights here.
1. Filip KURTO, 8. Mitch NICHOLS, 11. David WILLIAMS, 13. Liberato CACACE, 15. Michal KOPCZYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 19. Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 27. Steven TAYLOR
Wellington Phoenix Substitutes
46’ OFF 8. Mitch NICHOLS ON 7. Cillian SHERIDAN
85’ OFF 18. Sarpreet SINGH ON 23. Max BURGESS
90+2’ OFF 15. Michal KOPCZYŃSKI ON 6. Dylan FOX
Central Coast Marriners Substitutions
62’ OFF 6. Tom HIARIEJ ON 3. Jack CLISBY
73’ OFF 7. Andrew HOOLE ON 25. Jordan MURRAY
82’ OFF 22. Jacob MELLING ON 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY
Next Match details
Melbourne Victory vs. Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 20th January 2019, 7:00pm NZT, AAMI Park