Wellington Phoenix extended their unbeaten run to a club equaling seven games and it had it all as Roy Krishna scored in the dying moments to give his side all three points.
It was going to be a tough test against Markus Babbel’s team as the last meeting had brought about a fairly convincing defeat at the hands of the Sydney side.
However, Wellington Phoenix Head Coach, Mark Rudan, knew his side presented a very different threat this time around and it certainly showed at ANZ Stadium.
In a fairly open first half, Wanderers threatened to open the scoring through substitute Nick Fitzgerald only for Filip Kurto’s goalkeeping heroics to deny them the opener.
Moments later, Sarpreet Singh found fellow Kiwi Louis Fenton in the box as the latter chested it down and slotted it beyond goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic to open the scoring.
The elation was short-lived as Wanderers levelled it up shortly before half time as defender Brendan Hamill rose highest to head in beyond Kurto.
In to the second half and both teams vied for a stranglehold on the game as counter attack followed counter attack.
Kurto stepped up yet again to deny Wanderers the lead as he found himself one on one with attacker Kwame Yeboah. The Wanderers attacker attempted to curl it around the goalkeeper but Kurto was alive to it and parried it to safety.
That save proved pivotal as minutes later, Krishna latched on to a perfectly weighted through ball from debutant Cillian Sheridan. Krishna rounded the keeper and finished from a tight angle to re-take the lead.
It wasn’t long until the home side responded again, and it was another set piece as the ball evaded everyone inside the Wellington Phoenix box and eventually worked its way to Keanu Baccus at the far post, who smashed it into the top corner.
With both teams looking for that late winner, up stepped record-goalscorer Roy Krishna who nodded home from 4-yards out to clinch the win and take all three points back to Wellington.
After a spell on the road, Wellington Phoenix look forward to heading back home for their first game of 2019 at Westpac Stadium.
1.Filip KURTO, 11. David WILLIAMS, 13. Liberate CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPCYZNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 19. Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 27. Steven TAYLOR
Wellington Phoenix Substitutes
63’ OFF 11. David WILLIAMS ON 7. Cillian SHERIDAN
87’ OFF 18. Sarpreet SINGH ON 23. Max BURGESS
90’ OFF 15. Michal KOPCZYNSKI ON 8. Mitch NICHOLS
Western Sydney Wanderers Substitutes
6’ OFF 10. Alexandrer BAUMJOHANN ON 7. Nick FITZGERALD
44’ OFF 9. Oriol RIERA ON 27. Kwame YEBOAH
Next Match Details
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Marriners, Saturday 12th January 2019, 7:35pm NZT, Westpac Stadium