Hyundai A-League Season 6

Wellington celebrate Century
with shock win
By Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 26
Saturday 5 February, 2011
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Adelaide United FC 0
lost to
Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Chris Greenacre 34')

(Linked from FFA site)

Wellington Phoenix marked their one hundredth Hyundai A-League fixture in fine style on 5 February, stunning Adelaide United 1-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium to all but secure a second successive play-offs campaign.

Barring a bizarre series of results taking place during the final eight days of the regular season, Ricki Herbert’s team will be travelling to the home of the third place-getters in the competition, which could well see Wellington making a return trip to Adelaide, who hold that position at present.

The vast majority of the 7,498 fans who turned up fully expected the home team to keep alive their hopes of securing second spot, but hadn’t reckoned on a spirited Wellington display which contributed greatly to a vibrant encounter.

Both teams could have scored inside the first two minutes. Straight from the kick-off, Adelaide rampaged downfield, with Marco Flores slipping a pass through the inside-right channel for Travis Dodd to take on in his stride and send a shot zooming across the face of the visitor’s goal a mere thirteen seconds after the game had started.

Danny Vukovic - outstanding in the air throughout - launched the goal kick downfield, and the game’s first free-kick was awarded for a foul by the home team. Marco Rojas’ delivery wasn’t cleared adequately, Vince Lia lobbing the ball back into the danger zone.

Chris Greenacre stole in and stabbed a shot under the startled figure of Eugene Galekovic, who was relieved to see Nigel Boogaard on hand to clear off the line behind him. Again, the clearance wasn’t convincing, for, seconds later, Greenacre was in again. This time, Galekovic parried the striker’s effort to safety.

The usual period of feeling each other out followed this frenetic first two minutes of goalmouth action, after which Adelaide began to assert themselves. Cassio released Paul Reid through the inside left channel, and he linked with Iain Ramsay on the quarter hour.

Jade North - a superb display - blocked this effort, while three minutes later Vukovic foiled Sergio Van Dijk’s rasping twenty yarder after an eye-catching break out of defence by new signing Dario Bodrusic.

After Galekovic had saved at the feet of Greenacre following a Rojas raid down the left, Flores and Ramsay linked on the left in the twentieth minute, with the latter whipping in an inviting cross for Dodd to exploit. Tony Lochhead had other ideas, however, and headed clear.

Marco Rojas again led Wellington’s response, turning Francisco Usucar on the edge of the “D” before lashing a rising drive inches over the crossbar, after which things began to go pear-shaped for Adelaide.

A muscular injury to Cassio forced the premature substitution of a fullback who is a vital component of Adelaide’s line-up, and coach Rini Coolen was forced to make many an on-field reshuffle before the final whistle as he sought to compensate for the loss of his influential Brazilian.

Wellington also had an injury concern around this time, with Lia exiting stage left due to a hamstring niggle. Enter Daniel, who was swiftly into action, courtesy a wide ball from Andrew Durante. The substitute’s cross only just arced beyond Dylan MacAllister, but before Greenacre could move in for the kill Bodrusic and Galekovic combined to mop up the danger.

They were beaten all ends up in the 34th minute, however. Nick Ward spread play wide to Rojas, whose first-time cross was a beauty - an inviting delivery which dropped about six yards out from Adelaide’s goal. Greenacre’s anticipation was superb, and was rewarded in fine style, his full-length diving header crashing into the back of the net to break the deadlock.

Adelaide were reeling from this blow, and nearly suffered a second two minutes later - only a timely tackle from Cassio’s replacement, Osama Malik, prevented MacAllister from doubling Wellington’s lead as he looked to head home a Daniel cross.

Greenacre was only prevented from notching his second goal of the game by Galekovic during this spell, Rojas again the architect courtesy some fine footwork which completely bamboozled Bodrusic on the by-line.

Adelaide had begun to rally by this time, Usucar and Ramsay combining to present Van Dijk with a sharp volleyed chance, before the league’s leading scorer went close with a twenty-yard free-kick before the half-time whistle. And in the last seconds of the half, Vukovic raced off his line to block in smart fashion from Reid, as he darted through from midfield onto a probing pass from Boogaard.

The second spell was barely a minute old when Galekovic was called upon to bravely deny MacAllister at close quarters, as he steamed in looking to turn home a gorgeous cross from Daniel which perfectly bisected the goalkeeper and his defence, the substitute having been released by Tim Brown’s enterprising play.

The home team responded with a similar raid, Ramsay’s teasing cross from the left the object of van Dijk’s desires as he arrived on the far post. Durante arrived with him, and headed clear once more.

Only a fine fingertip save from Galekovic prevented Ward from doubling Wellington’s lead in the 49th minute, the midfielder’s dipping twenty-five yard forcing a corner from which both Ward and Brown saw their attempts to hammer home shots from outside the penalty area blocked by determined Adelaide defenders.

Usucar’s rasping twenty-yarder which cleared the crossbar by not a lot was matched in the 58th minute by a stinging low twenty-five yarder from Brown which Galekovic did well to keep out courtesy a fine sprawling save.

That sparked an Adelaide raid which saw North step in to prevent van Dijk from scoring the equaliser as he looked to turn home Dodd’s low cross on the hour. The defender’s next intervention of note was even more spectacular.

It came in the 67th minute, and followed a delightful ball forward by Flores which allowed Dodd to steal a march on Lochhead and nip into the penalty area. Adelaide’s captain shot through the legs of the advancing Vukovic, and an equaliser looked odds on until North somehow managed to divert the ball against his own crossbar from three yards out.

Durante completed the clearance, much to Adelaide’s frustration. The home team was screaming for a penalty soon after, following a handball incident involving North, but referee Matthew Breeze accurately called that the offence had taken place outside the area.

Their midweek efforts in strength-sapping forty degree heat were beginning to take their toll on the home team by now, and over the course of the next ten minutes, Wellington had three good chances to increase their lead.

Galekovic pawed away another teasing twenty-five yarder from Ward, before Lochhead, Daniel, MacAllister and Greenacre combined in delightful fashion down the left to create an opening which MacAllister was only prevented from capitalising upon by Adam Hughes’ timely challenge.

Malik stepped in to thwart Rojas in similar fashion ten minutes from time, after which Adelaide twice went close to drawing level. Van Dijk went desperately close to scoring after he and Flores had confused Wellington’s defence with their cross-over run to meet Cameron Watson’s pass in the 83rd minute.

Two minutes later, Flores and Dodd combined, with the captain’s cross-field ball to pick out van Dijk absolutely inch-perfect. Off the number nine steamed, beating Tony Hearfield before whipping in a vicious low cross which substitute Andy Slory was just two strides away from meeting - it really was a close-run thing.

Sadly for Adelaide, it was their last chance, the sound of the final whistle soon afterwards signalling delight aplenty from the Wellington squad, for whom this was just their second win on the road this season. They couldn’t have timed it better, with a play-offs spot now well and truly in their hands.

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 26
Saturday 5 February, 2011
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Adelaide United FC 0
lost to
Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Chris Greenacre 34')

    Crowd: 7,498


    Adelaide United FC :
    Player listing:
    1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO (22.Osama MALIK 29’), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Dario BODRUSIC (8.Adam HUGHES 46’), 17.Iain RAMSAY (11.Andy SLORY 62’), 21.Francisco USUCAR

    Substitutes not used: 30. Mark Birighitti (rgk)

    Coach: Rini Coolen

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Tony LOCHHEAD, 4.Nicky WARD, 6.Tim BROWN, 9.Chris GREENACRE, 13.Troy HEARFIELD, 15.Jade NORTH, 17.Vince LIA (11.DANIEL 27’), 21.Marco ROJAS, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Dylan MACALLISTER

    Substitutes not used: 10. Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 12. James MUSA, 20. Reece CROWTHER (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Tim Brown 42’, Troy Hearfield 64’, Andrew Durante 80’, Dylan Macallister 86’'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Matthew Breeze 6/10
    Assistant referees: Paul Cetrangolo, Daniel Goodwin; Fourth official: Regis Queffelec

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Jade North (WP)
    2. Paul Reid (AU)
    1. Nick Ward (WP)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied or made available by FFA and used by permission.

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