Shock win to Phoenix
WELLINGTON has caused a massive A-League boilover with a 3-1 away win over Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium.
Phoenix scored three firsthalf goals in 17 minutes, with striker Roy Krishna bagging a brace, to help coach and former Sydney FC captain Mark Rudan enjoy a memorable win yesterday over his old club.
Defender Michael Zullo pulled a goal back in the 89th minute but Sydney suffered its first successive home loss since April, 2016.
It was Wellington’s first win over Sydney in seven games. ADELAIDE United has missed an opportunity to move to the cusp of the A-League summit, as its wretched record against bitter rival Melbourne Victory continued in a frustrating defeat last night.
The Reds created the better openings in the cross-border derby at Docklands, but lacked quality in the front third as they went down 2-0 to their traditional foe.
Second-half strikes by Kosta Barbarouses and Ola Toivonen were enough for the hosts, despite Michael Marrone hitting the woodwork twice.
Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Ben Halloran also went close to getting on the scoresheet after the break, as Marco Kurz’s men were made pay for a lack of polish in the key moments.
The loss extended United’s run to just two triumphs in its past 17 meetings with the Victory. Adelaide started strongly as it outsmarted and outmuscled the reigning champion for the bulk of the early proceedings.
Its good work was undone just after the hour when Terry Antonis’ cross from the left was headed down by the impressive Toivonen.
The Swede’s header was well saved by Paul Izzo, but Barbarouses followed up to tap home from close range.
Adelaide’s back four was picked apart again 19 minutes later when Toivonen exchanged a delightful one-two with Antonis before slotting home emphatically.
The visitors welcomed back centre back Michael Jakobsen in place of the suspended Taylor Regan, while winger Ryan Kitto (foot) and Ken Ilso (abdominal) missed out with injuries.
Right back Marrone went closest to breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes when he thundered Isaias’ inswinging corner against the cross bar from five metres.
Toivonen had Victory’s first effort on goal as he curled in a 20m effort which Izzo did well to parry away.
Adelaide survived a massive scare midway through the half when former Victory full back Scott Galloway controlled the ball into his own hand in the penalty area.
The VAR viewed the incident and recommended referee Shaun Evans uphold his initial decision to deny a spot kick.
United worked hard to shut down spaces and cut off the supply to Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda in the opening period, pressing Victory high when the hosts had the ball.
Kurz successfully shifted to a 4-4-2 to counteract the home side’s midfield diamond, which had terrorised Western Sydney in a 4-0 drubbing a week earlier.
Another Isaias corner in first-half stoppage time dropped to Marrone, who had his initial shot blocked by Leigh Broxham and his followup effort expertly smothered by Lawrence Thomas.
Adelaide continued to have the clearest chances after the break but failed to convert.
Marrone’s mishit cross was tipped on to the bar by Thomas in the 78th minute, but Toivonen sealed the points late on to send his side, temporarily at least, top of the table.
Tempers flared in a push and shove between players from both sides after Barbarouses fell heavily from an aerial challenge. It mattered little as Victory made it five straight wins to leave the Reds searching for answers.