A first half blitz from Wellington Phoenix has seen the Western Sydney Wanderers comprehensively defeated 3-1 in Wellington tonight, putting the visitors on the brink of mathmatical elimination from the A-League finals race.
The Wanderers first half was abysmal, with the losses of Keanu Baccus & Tass Mourdoukoutas to a youth national team camp leading to the return of Tarek Elrich to the central defensive role. Wellington opened the scoring in the 12th minute, Tate Russel sent a hospital pass to Brendan Hamill and it was intercepted by Roy Krishna, who narrowed in on goal, before telegraphing a shot to the near post that Vedran Janjetovic couldn't stop despite the acute angle and forewarning.
Wellington had their second in the 22nd minute, a long range free kick lobbed over the wall while Janjetovic stood like a statue on his line, not even attempting a save. The game was secured for the home side in the 32nd minute, as Wellington passed around the edge of the area until it fell to David Williams, he was left unmarked by Kamau and Williams fired a curling shot into the top corner.
Midway through the second half Alexander Baumjohann had the opportunity to start a salvage operation in the 70th minute, when VAR turned a edge of the area free kick for a foul on Bruce Kamau into a penalty. The Wanderers attacking midfielder stepped up and put his shot horribly wide.
The Wanderers huffed and puffed, eventually hitting the back of the Wellington net in the 86th minute. Riera was wide on the left hand wing, lobbed a cross into the middle that Mitch Duke glanced the ball with his head for a 3-1 scoreline. Western Sydney were unable to close the gap further and a late red card to Krishna did little more than waste the last few minutes the game had.
Western Sydney play Melbourne City at the Homebush Olympic Stadium on Saturday the 30th of March at 7:50PM.