Western Sydney Wanderers 2 – 3 Wellington Phoenix

It was do-or-die for the Western Sydney Wanderers when they hosted the Wellington Phoenix in a mid-week clash at ANZ Stadium.

With only two wins from their opening 11 matches and sitting seven points outside the top six, the Wanderers could not afford another defeat, especially at home.

The task set was made all the more difficult as Wanderers midfielder Alexander Baumjohann was replaced due to a hamstring injury.

It seemed as though it would be as good a chance as any considering it was Wellington’s third consecutive away trip and the Wanderers very nearly got the upper hand when Bruce Kamau was fouled inside the box.

Though to the disappointment of the Wanderers this was not to be as the decision was overruled after the referee had consulted with the Video Assistant.

A sigh of relief for the Phoenix who would go on to make the Wanderers pay soon after though Louis Fenton who opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

But the Wanderers hit back three minutes before Half Time with Brendan Hamill heading the equaliser, beating Wellington keeper Fillip Kurto’s fist to the ball to get the Wanderers back in the game.

On the injury front the Wanderers’ night went from bad to worse as Oriol Riera limped off with groin issues.

While the Wanderers dominated the shot count and possession, they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard and were forced to chase the game yet again as Roy Krishna’s 82nd minute goal gave the Phoenix the lead again.

It was a scenario all too familiar for the Wanderers with goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic coming to meet the ball some 30 yards off his line only for Krishna to knock the ball past him and score.

Hope however was restored for the home side through an unlikely source in Keanu Baccus who was left unmarked at the back post from the corner and found the back of the net, equalising with six minutes to play.

But Western Sydney’s run ended there as like last week the Wanderers fell victim to a late winner, this time at the hands of Roy Krishna who squeezed home the winner with the ball bouncing off Janjetovic and the crossbar before crossing the line.

The loss being Western Sydney’s second in four days at home.

Wellington meanwhile sit one point outside the top four, starting to look more and more like a finals side every week.

Athos Sirianos