Tag Archives: Wellington Phoenix

Victory Thrash Wellington Ahead of Derby

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Melbourne Victory 3 – Wellington Phoenix 1
Three goals in the game’s first twenty-five minutes sealed an important three points at AAMI Park for Melbourne Victory in a 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix. Archie Thompson (pictured) opened with a header in the 4th minute before Carlos Hernández had his shot from distance redirect off of Vince Lia and past Tony Warner in the 22nd. Just three minutes later, Diogo Ferreira blasted in a volley from outside the box, thrilling the home support and wrapping up all three points. The Victory were reduced again to ten men when Billy Celeski was sent off in the 78th minute for his second yellow card and the Phoenix responded seven minutes later with Alex Smith producing a consolation goal for the hapless visitors. Wellington cling to sixth place and are passed by the Victory who are now in fifth, just three points behind rivals Melbourne Heart for third place.

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Paul Ifill to Stay with the Phoenix

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Striker Paul Ifill has committed at least two more years to Wellington Phoenix, finalizing a new deal on Thursday night. Though he has not been able to avoid injuries since his arrival in New Zealand two years ago, Ifill has often been the Phoenix’s top player. Supporters might worry that the 32-year old former Millwall stalwart might not last through the 2013/14 season, but the club seem confident that the creative forward will be able to compete at the highest level. On the same day the club cut ties with CEO Nathan Greenham, re-signing a key part of the team will help bridge what might continue to be a tricky change over in ownership and direction for the club. Ifill showed his worth upon returning from injury several weeks ago, scoring goals and giving Wellington a capable weapon at the top of their formation.

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Goal of the Week – Round 8

I’m not even allowing voting for the Round 8 goal of the week. There is no doubt that Tim Brown’s volley from almost fifty yards would win, so I’m just posting it here for all to see:

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10-Man Victory Survive Gold Coast

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Melbourne Victory 3 – Gold Coast United 2
Two goals up after 22 minutes, Melbourne Victory had Rody Vargas sent off, conceded twice and needed a header from Carlos Hernández, of all people, to emerge with a 3-2 win over Gold Coast United at AAMI Park. Playing their first game of the season at AAMI, the Victory looked to have the match wrapped after a first minute penalty was converted by Harry Kewell and a 22nd minute spot kick was scored by Hernández. But Vargas went in on Gol-Gol Mebrahtu with two feet and with studs up, earning a straight red card in the 33rd minute. Mebrahtu won a penalty just before half-time, which was scored by substitute Dylan Macallister, bringing the visitors back into the game. Peter Jungschläger brought further intrigue when he scored just two minutes after the break to level the score and bring reminders of the Victory’s lost two-goal lead just a week earlier. But Hernández headed in an Archie Thompson chip in the 79th minute to finally secure all three points for the home side. Kristian Rees did keep it interesting to the end, hitting the post, just as Jonas Salley had done in the first half, but it was not to be for the A-League’s bottom side. Melbourne jump all the way to third place with the three points, clearing Sydney FC on goal difference.

Wellington Phoenix 2 – Sydney FC 1
Speaking of Sydney, they were the lesser side for the majority of their match away to Wellington, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. Though the crowds did not turn out as they’d done in Auckland last weekend, the Yellow Fever were treated to an early goal from the spectacular Paul Ifill and and stunning goal from Tim Brown. The latter will surely be atop the list for Goal of the Year in the A-League as the midfielder slipped around Nicky Carle to claim Liam Reddy’s clearance before lobbing the helpless keeper from nearly fifty yards. That 59th minute goal was vital as a weird goal from Bruno Cazarine pulled one back for the visitors in the 70th minute. Yet the Phoenix were able to hold on with Mirjan Pavlović playing a key role in continuing the home side’s pressure to the end. Gathering full points from a top three (at the time) club was a good win for Wellington and lifts them to eighth place, just a point out of finals football and just two points shy of third place. Sydney had two shouts for penalties in the match, finally do not get a late equalizer or winner and sink to fourth place, now behind Melbourne Victory on goal difference.

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The Trusted Hands of Ricki Herbert

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Under Ricki Herbert the Wellington Phoenix have built a reputation of overachievement and a formidable trip across the Tasman to the Ring of Fire, where they have set records of 24 home games unbeaten between November 2008 and December 2010, and 7 consecutive home wins between December 2010 and October 2011. The away record may not be as strong, but for a side that has to travel between 1,500 and 3,000 miles for each away game that is easily excused. Indeed for such a side, a coach in the mould of Ricki Herbert (organised, whose first priority is not losing) isn’t a terrible appointment. These things, along with his general standing within the New Zealand football community, and the need for stability during the ownership change are the reasons Gareth Morgan and his partners extended his contract recently. It is a decision that should sit well with a Wellington Phoenix support that practically worships the ground he walks on and Australian and New Zealand football associations that view him as one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the region. Here are some of the most significant games in his time as manager of Wellington Phoenix Football Club.

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Phoenix Hold Roar at Suncorp

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Brisbane Roar 1 – Wellington Phoenix 1
Despite controlling possession and far outshooting the visitors from New Zealand, Brisbane Roar could only muster a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium. Besart Berisha easily headed in a Thomas Broich free kick in the 11th minute, seemingly setting up a rout to cleanse last week’s bizarre 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory from memory. Instead, the Phoenix relied on defensive coordination, a lot of luck and when the chance was given, a sweet combination to equalize. Leo Bertos’ cross-field pass to Nicky Ward was sublime, giving the latter the space and time to get to the endline and cut a ball back into the box. From there, Tim Brown, playing in his 100th game for Wellington, needed only to slot the ball into a mostly open net in the 37th minute. That exchange left the score level but seemed to be only the next goal of the game. Yet time and again, Brisbane created chances and either had them saved by the excellent Tony Warner or completely missed an open net. Kofi Danning and Issey Nakajima-Farran were the worst offenders though the whole of the Roar will rue missed opportunities to put away the visitors. The shared points keep Brisbane atop the ladder, but only by three points over surging Sydney FC. Wellington move up to ninth place on goal difference, leaving Gold Coast United in last.

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Mariners Drop Phoenix in Wellington

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Wellington Phoenix 1 – Central Coast Mariners 2
Second half goals from Bernie Ibini-Isei and Matt Simon were enough to see Central Coast Mariners to three points against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in New Zealand. The Phoenix dropped their second straight at home, usually a place where they are very difficult to overcome, despite Chris Greenacre‘s second goal of the season. All three points for the Mariners see the 2010/11 runners up move into third place after a difficult start to the season. The Phoenix scored on their only shot on target, continuing a frustrating balance of failing to create chances or finish them, depending on the match. Failure to pick up points in Wellington leaves the Phoenix stranded in eighth place with a difficult task ahead, traveling next to Brisbane. As for the Mariners, their scoring duo of Ibini-Isei and Simon was identical to their 2-1 victory in Round 4 against Perth Glory and relieved some of the pressure on young goalkeeper Matt Ryan. Simon’s winner in the 80th minute will give Central Coast a lift ahead of their important match with Melbourne Victory next weekend.

Adelaide United 1 – Melbourne Heart 1
Melbourne Heart picked up their third straight draw as the visitors were again unable to hold a one-goal lead. The only club yet to win this season in the A-League, Heart got a goal from teenaged defender Brendan Hamill just after half-time to silence the 10,294 at Hindmarsh. Yet substitute Spase Dilevski found the net for Adelaide just six minutes after his introduction to produce a 1-1 draw and shared points. Dilevski’s pounce after Clint Bolton could not hold Cassio’s free kick was the result of Simon Colosimo’s second yellow card and subsequent sending off in the 77th minute. The point was an important step back into the world of football after the Reds’ 7-1 loss last weekend in Brisbane, but Heart will be happy to have held on to the draw after finishing with ten men, especially after watching Iain Ramsay’s shot go just over the bar in injury time. Both United and Heart remain rooted to the bottom of the table after five games, sitting ninth and tenth respectively.

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Victory Find First Win Against 10-Man Phoenix

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Wellington Phoenix 1 – Melbourne Victory 2
It took four games to score but when they finally did, Melbourne Victory got a wonderful strike from Archie Thompson. The A-League’s all-time leading scorer got things going for the Victory after a difficult first half and led ultimately to a more open and focused attack from the visitors. Dani Sánchez led the way for Wellington at Westpac Stadium, creating chances for himself as well as the likes of Leo Bertos while defender Tony Lochhead again provided fine service, only to see shots by Sanchez and Tim Brown go begging. Despite dominating the first forty minutes, Wellington suddenly found themselves behind after Thompson’s cut-back drive into the box and lifted shot to the far post. Ben Sigmund, who had played admirably in defense for the Phoenix, was sent off in the 66th after taking down Thompson in the box. Carlos Hernández buried the resulting penalty, sending the Victory ahead 2-0. Sanchez pulled one back on a terrific one-touch shot in the 71st but Wellington could not figure out a way past Ante Čović over the game’s final twenty minutes. The Victory could have made it three but another Thompson goal was called back due to Marco Rojas being offside.

Gold Coast United 3 – Newcastle Jets 1
At Skilled Park, Gold Coast United were worthy recipients of three points as Maceo Rigters dominated Newcastle Jets in Gary van Egmond’s return to the touchline. The Dutch recruit scored his first goal for United in the 11th minute before just missing on two more blasts before a half-hour had passed. The Jets had nice chances of their own with Ruben Zadkovich missing just wide and Jobe Wheelhouse stoned by Glen Moss before the 30th minute. Ben Kennedy’s error just before the hour gave the home side the lead as the Jets’ goalkeeper could not hold on to Peter Jungschläger’s free kick, allowing Kristian Rees to score from the rebound. Wheelhouse got Newcastle on the score sheet with a goal in the 68th minute from a Ryan Griffiths free kick, but after Rees hit the post, James Brown scored his third goal of the season to finish off the game for the hosts. Though only 2974 were on hand for the game, United showed again that they may yet have a case for remaining in the A-League, at least based on their on-field performances.

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Round 3 A-League Weekend Results

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Saturday October 21:
Adelaide United 1
Sydney FC 2

Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Heart 0

Sunday October 22:
Perth Glory 1
Wellington Phoenix 0

Newcastle Jets 1
Central Coast Mariners 0

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Phoenix Get Ward Back Before Perth Journey

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Wellington Phoenix supporters, and manager Ricki Herbert in particular, will be relieved to hear that the A-League rescinded the red card given to Nick Ward from last weekend’s match against Newcastle Jets. The midfielder who assisted on Tim Brown’s opener for the Phoenix was given a straight red after his challenge on Ryan Griffiths just outside the box on eighty-three minutes. A card was deserved but certainly not a red, a fact that the league has acknowledged and rectified before Round 3. With a host of injuries, not least to Paul Ifill, who left with pain for the second straight week, the reds given to Ward and Brown (whose penalty will not be rescinded, it seems) were making a full team selection difficult in the long away trip to Perth Glory. Now Ward will return and be joined by teenager Cameron Lindsay in the team. No word yet on the extent of Ifill’s absence, though it appears to be more like several weeks than several days.

UPDATE – Referee Matt Gillett will be suspended for a week’s worth of A-League action after his two red cards last weekend. With Nick Ward’s rescinded, the league had little choice but to punish the referee whose calls were so publicly criticized. Though officials have been dropped before, it has never been openly admitted by the A-League.

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