Phoenix stun Wanderers 3-1

By James MacSmith, James MacSmith is a Roar Guru

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    Stein Huysegems and Tyler Boyd have combined to sink Western Sydney Wanderers’ undefeated home record and continue Wellington Phoenix’s remarkable A-League mid-season resurgence.

    The Phoenix scored a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday with Huysegems scoring two goals and Boyd one.

    The Phoenix duo put on an attacking clinic after the home side had gone up 1-0 in the 62nd minute through Mark Bridge after great lead-up work from Shinji Ono and Youssouf Hersi.

    But Boyd struck back in the 68th minute before Huysegems’ brace came in the 78th and 83rd minutes, the second coming with a stunning backheel.

    The win is the third straight for the Phoenix after previously enduring a winless start to the season.

    The loss was the Wanderers’ first at home since January 6 last year.

    With Ono and Tomi Yuric back and Michael Beauchamp wearing the captain’s armband the Wanderers controlled much of the contest until after their first goal.

    The hosts had the better of the play in the first half and probably should have gone into the break ahead.

    A Juric header flew over the bar in the 14th minute after he was incorrectly ruled offside, before a powerful shot from Aaron Mooy was deflected wide by Phoenix goalkeeper Glenn Moss.

    Then, in the final minute of time in the opening half, an Ono header hit the bar.

    With Hersi constantly threatening the Phoenix defence after the break, the Wanderers always looked likely to score and it was a well deserved lead when they went 1-0 up.

    But then the game turned on its head as Boyd and Huysgems dominated to secure the upset win for the Phoenix to give Wanderers coach Tony Popovic plenty to ponder in the New Year.

    The win has lifted the Phoenix to eighth on the A-League ladder, while the Wanderers remain second, four points behind Brisbane and four points ahead of Melbourne Victory who both have a game in hand.

    Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said he was always confident his side could turn their season around.

    “We have been playing some good football and we can score goals … we showed that tonight,” he said.

    “I felt this turnaround coming. The boys have never lost faith.

    “The law of averages says it has to come good.”

    Wanderers’ boss Tony Popovic said the Phoenix made his side pay for their mistakes late in the game.

    “They scored a good equaliser but I was comfortable at 1-1,” he said.

    “But after that I felt we tried too hard to push the issue and they punished us for our mistakes and credit goes to them for that.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (28)

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 9:25am
      Australian Rules said | January 2nd 2014 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      For those interested…

      Aleague – Round 12

      Attendances

      SFC v BR – 17,662
      MH v Nix – 6,486
      MV v WSW – 22,123
      AU v NJ – 10,778
      CC v PG – 12,919

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 10:37am
        Franko said | January 2nd 2014 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        70k for the round at an average of 14,000 isn’t too bad, though could be better considering it is the ‘Summer of Football’, ‘Football feast’, ’16 games in 17 days’ ra ra ra

        Obviously would be nicer in the two Melbourne sides could pull a few more to their games but well done to CCM.

        SFC – This should be standard, though may have been bigger considering the occasion
        MH – Their average, obviously needs to improve
        MV – Trouble with the NT and fans in general is really hurting, they could easily pull 5-6k extra if they got themselves together
        AU – Lower end of average, much like the performances on the pitch, I’d expect a good crowd Friday night for SFC
        CCM – Good crowd for them and good initative to play on NYE, that crowd could have been halved on a regular Sunday arvo fixture.

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 9:32am
      Australian Rules said | January 2nd 2014 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Aleague – Round 12

      TV Ratings

      SFC v BR – 84k (Fox)
      MH v Nix – 59k (SBS) 42k (Fox)
      MV v WSW – 100k (Fox)
      AU v NJ – 65k
      CC v PG – ?

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 10:10am
        Kasey said | January 2nd 2014 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        Crowds tracking slightly ahead of last season in a like for like comparison of Dec2012-13 to Dec 2013-14.

        A-League Season 2012/13 Week 12 (End of Round 12, 22 December 2012)
        Average – 14,045 End of Season Average – 12,310

        Season to date:
        Aggregate Attendance Season – 785,011(60 matches) We are well on track for yet another 1M+ agg. attendance. Only the inaugural season failed to pass the 1 M mark.
        Season Average – 13,084 (60 matches)

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 9:39am
      ciudadmarron said | January 2nd 2014 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      14,500 at the game last night apparently.

      They witnessed a pretty good wanderers performance for about an hour who created some very good chances.. haven’t watched the game yet but the offside calls were possibly suspect? Anyway, could easily have been 2 up at halftime if not for crossbars! Ono magic for the bridge goal… and then a great turnaround from the nix who never gave up. Some unhurried possession in dangerous areas from mooy and hersi cost us… question marks will again be raised about rotation policiies given that beachamp comes back, engages in a little ball watching and cops 3 goals… but to be fair, what can he do he hasn’t played in 7 weeks or something he’s not going to slot straight in.

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 11:30am
        Tom Jones said | January 2nd 2014 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Don’t you hate how crossbars only stop certain teams from scoring but let other teams score at will

        • January 2nd 2014 @ 11:42am
          ciudadmarron said | January 2nd 2014 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Yes I do. 😆

          I hate the excuse to be honest and wasn’t careful enough with my language. A hit crossbar is still a miss! Point being, the wanderers created good chances which could easily have been scored… they weren’t, they lost. The nix have been very good at taking chances like that.

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 10:31am
      midfielder said | January 2nd 2014 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      Nix’s are starting to play some very decent football

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 4:34pm
        Tim Dawson said | January 2nd 2014 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

        great call mate, hope you had a merry nixmas

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 1:13pm
      AZ_RBB said | January 2nd 2014 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

      Woeful! First half was some of the slowest football I have ever watched. WSW created a couple of great chances but the rest of the half was borderline depressing. Wellington out-pressed us throughout the game and even their passing game was superior. Second half I was happy with in bits and pieces but as the scoreline shows, we were completely outplayed.

      It was the worst I have ever seen Mooy play and although it would be hard to blame Beauchamp for the 3 goals, the back 4 looked tired and hardly convincing. I would like to see D’apuzzo, win possession rather than just boot it out. La Rocca played well for the first hour then fell asleep.

      With a 10 day break before the Derby, this is a well-timed wake up call. Also, hats off to the RBB. They hardly missed a beat even as Wellington put goal after goal passed us. I felt like running down and joining them as things got dire. Bring on the Derby!!

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 4:44pm
        ciudadmarron said | January 2nd 2014 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

        The trouble with d’appuzo is who else do you put there? He got up and helped a bit more successfully than normal I thought although I haven’t see the replay yet. Polenz is now suspended for next match it appears which means Cole must go in for him.
        No poljak and mooy off form probably made a difference to la rocca’s performance also.

        • January 2nd 2014 @ 5:11pm
          AZ_RBB said | January 2nd 2014 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

          I don’t want D’apuzzo out, I just want him to try a different style. I remember reading he has made the most number of successful tackles in the league this season. So there’s no doubt over his talent and value. But I would like to see him complete turnovers more often. Not an easy task, but he seemed to be just going through the motions last night.

          Also I sometimes find it hard to believe that D’apuzzo and Bridge have been playing together for over a season now. They seem to be on different wavelengths. Maybe it just looks bad cos Polenz and Hersi have such great chemistry?

          I really like Cole. He is versatile and never disappoints. He might not have the best touch or much pace but in a Derby those things can often go out the window anyways.

          Will be watching tonight’s encounter very closely!

          • January 2nd 2014 @ 5:30pm
            ciudadmarron said | January 2nd 2014 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            Agreed about pretty much everything there AZ, the Bridge D’Apuzzo thing just doesn’t quite click. I think it’s because D’Appuzzo doesn’t have the same sort of control the Polenz has going forward, so Polenz can get it to Hersi more often than not; and on top of that Bridge’s style is a lot more direct than Hersi’s so it doesn’t look as intricate or what have you either.

            Cole clearly gets up for the derbies too.

            ANyway as you said somewhere bring on the break, they can hunker down and come out with vigour for the derby.

      • January 2nd 2014 @ 5:13pm
        clayts said | January 2nd 2014 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

        Agree. I thought Wanderers were pretty slack for almost the entire game. I reckon they’ve been like that for a while now. Roar went through a patch like that too just recently

        • January 2nd 2014 @ 5:25pm
          AZ_RBB said | January 2nd 2014 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

          Hopefully this doesn’t become a pattern once ACL starts and “3 games in 10 days” becomes the norm.

    • January 2nd 2014 @ 2:08pm
      jmac said | January 2nd 2014 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      Go you Nix! merry nixmas

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