The Western Sydney Wanderers completely dominated a second rate Wellington Phoenix on a cold and rainy afternoon in Wellington tonight.
As Markus Babbel served a touchline ban, his charges took to the field with a couple of changes from last week's match as Bruce Kamau replaced Jaushua Sotirio on the wing and Tarek Elrich shifted infield to cover Ruon Tongyik's central defensive position, and allowed Raul Llorente his first start after recovering from a foot injury.
The Wanderers put together some nice passing combinations early in the fixture and they took the lead as a result of one in the 10th minute. Roly Bonevacia penetrated the Wellington defensive line with a skidding through ball into the path of Kamau, the flying winger having made a brilliant inside run, he propped on his right foot to cut back to the middle, and Alexander Baumjohann strode on and blasted the ball past the despairing dive of the Wellington keeper.
After the break there was little difference to the flow of the game, as the Nix were kept away by resolute Wanderers defence and were scrambling to prevent conceding a second. Unfortunately for the home side their long serving defender Andrew Durante, on his 250th game for the club gave away a stone wall penalty for handball as he blocked a long range effort with his arms, marquee striker Oriol Riera stepped up and calmly slotted his opening goal of the A-League campaign to make it 2-0.
Bonevacia should have added a goal to his good performance late on, as a mix-up defensively allowed Riera to fire a pass across the face of goal, Bonevacia inches away from tapping it home for a 3rd, but it hardly mattered as the Wanderers completed the demolition job into stoppage time with a sweeping counter-attack, Wellington turned it over deep into the Wanderers half, as they committed numbers forward they were caught out on the break. Bonevacia & Keanu Baccus combined to released Jaushua Sotirio down the right, he found Baccus who tipped the ball into the path of Jordan O'Doherty, the pacey midfielder strode toward the penalty area, took a couple of touches and fired unerringly to put the seal on an excellent performance to make it 3-0.
The win catapults the Wanderers back into the top 6 pending other results, and leaves the team in good position for their fixture against Brisbane Roar in Mudgee next weekend.