Ante Covic suffered a disastrous slip to allow Jeremy Brockie to score the only goal of the Wanderers 1-0 loss to Wellington.
A long range cross lofted into the box by Jeremy Brockie left Covic wrong-footed & stumbling, the Wanderers keeper was unable to adjust his body, he tripped and could only watch helplessly as the ball drifted past him. The Wanderers will be unhappy with the officiating again, as two seemingly stone-wall penalties were denied.
Dino Kresinger started for the Wanderers and yet again failed to do anything remotely considered 'striking'. His garbage, slow play completely wrecked any chance that the Wanderers could build their attack down the middle, forcing the wingers and full back to resort yet again to lumping diagonal crosses into the box from deep. Dino Kresinger must go back to the youth team. The Wanderers play dies when he is on the field. It's that simple. I don't have any confidence in the team's ability to win matches when he is on the pitch.
The first major incident in the match came on 14 minutes. Jerome Polenz broke down the flank, dribbled into the area then attempted to cross into the ball into the centre. Wellington's captain Andrew Durante clearly moved his arm and blocked the ball, as clear cut a penalty as ever has been. The blatant handball was not seen by the blind officials and play continued.
8 minutes later Wellington opened and completed the scoring for the evening. Jeremy Brockie launched an aimless cross from the sideline, closer to the half-way line than the Wanderers penalty box. The ball caught in the wind, but the deviation was something that the experienced Covic should have been able to deal with. Instead he was wrong-footed, and his last ditch attempt to re-adjust his position lead to him slipping on the turf. The ball bounced only inches in front of his outstretched hands and the Wanderers were down 1-0.
The second half started with the first shot of the match for Western Sydney, Ono attempting an audacious long-range volley that fell harmlessly into the hands of the Wellington keeper.
The second of the questionable decisions was made by the referee after Dino Kresinger was subbed off after another useless performance, Joey Gibbs immediately looked to have won a penalty when he was dragged down in the box but yet again the incompetent, blind officials that have plagued the Wanderer since their debut failed to spot the infringement.
Wellington weren't able to put the game to bed with a second, it left the Wanderers the chance to snatch a point. The moment looked to have come when Tahj Minniecon used his pace to get behind the Phoenix defence to cross the ball to the back post. Joey Gibbs had the ball on a silver platter but he blasted the shot straight into a defender from point-blank range.
A miserable defeat that dumps the Wanderers out of their hard-fought top 6 position all the way to the depths of 8th, only 2 points ahead of Melbourne Heart and 4 ahead of Sydney FC.
Analysis: See above for my thoughts on Dino. There is supporting a player through a tough period and making sure to still support him when he is selected, then there is supporting a striker who doesn't do anything remotely positive, and has completely failed at his role for over 2 months and wanting him to stop getting picked in favour of another player. 1/3rd of the season is over, the Wanderers are dropping points they could be picking up if they weren't spending their matches pumping aimless long diagonal crosses into the box for a striker who showed us in the previous match that even if he could get a free header on one, that he'd just put it wide anyway. His statistics are better suited to a defensive midfielder than a target man striker and I don't see how anyone could fail to see how we need Gibbs, Kubi, Olsen, anyone up front over Dino.
Defensively the team were sound again, not a huge amount of chances let in, and the goalkeeping error could happen to anyone. The problem with being a good defensive side but a crap attacking side is you only get a small number of chances to score, and if they aren't taken you end up with a point or worse.
The midfield made a lot of sloppy passes today but Mooy should return to improve this once again after the Brisbane match. The transfer window is opening soon, Tony Popovic must surely be looking overseas at a new key striker. If they can't find one, or if Dino keeps being used, we've got a long season ahead of us, and one that could be worse than what the rest of the team deserves.
The Wanderers next match is against Brisbane Roar at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday the 9th of December at 5:00pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.