Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Wellington come from behind to sink Sydney
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 13+ Mid Week
3pm, Wednesday 4 January, 2011
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 4
(Daniel 26' pen, Daniel Sanchez 42', Ben Sigmund 79', Paul Ifill 90'+4)
Sydney FC 2
(Brett Emerton 16' pen, Bruno Cazarine 63')

(linked from FFA web site)

Wellington Phoenix scored a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on 4 January to leapfrog the beaten team into fourth place on the Hyundai A-League standings, much to the delight of the 8,411-strong crowd which took full advantage of a stunning day in New Zealand’s capital to watch Australasia’s first football match in 2012.

A lively first half was kick-started into life by Sydney’s Bruno Cazarine just two minutes into the contest. He stung the gloves of Tony Warner with a twenty-yarder, to which Wellington responded two minutes later with a twenty-yarder of their own, as Dani Sanchez’s well-struck free-kick shook the stanchion.

The Spaniard went closer still four minutes later, rattling the side-netting after surging into Sydney’s penalty area unchallenged. But the visitors’ response, on the quarter hour, saw Brett Emerton - prominent throughout - and Shannon Cole combine for the fullback to whip in a cross.

Ben Sigmund’s diving headed clearance sat up perfectly for Mark Bridges, who swivelled and smashed a twenty-yarder towards the top corner of the net. But for a brilliant full-length diving save by Warner, the ball would have found its mark.

Sydney had but sixty seconds to wait before they could celebrate the opening goal, however. Vince Lia bizarrely handled the corner which resulted from Warner’s save in the penalty area, which presented Emerton with the chance to open the scoring from the spot, an opportunity he took in emphatic fashion in the sixteenth minute.

Perhaps it was due to the sun shining so brightly - perfect weather and Wellington are such rare bedfellows - but like Lia before him, Sydney’s Jamie Coyne had a rush of blood to the head ten minutes later.

The defender handled Manny Muscat’s cross, which was intended for the head of the diving Tim Brown, prompting referee Alan Milliner to point to the penalty spot for the second time in the game. Daniel Cortes took up the challenge for Wellington, and while his former team-mate, Liam Reddy, got his fingertips to the spot-kick, he couldn’t prevent the equaliser.

Sydney’s goalkeeper was next to experience a moment of irrationality. Seconds after Muscat had latched onto Sanchez’s cross-field ball and sent the sphere sizzling narrowly over the visitors’ crossbar, Reddy was caught in possession inside his own penalty area by Chris Greenacre as he sought to dribble out of it.

Much to the ‘keeper’s relief, Michael Beauchamp was on hand to spare his blushes, and ignite an attack which culminated in Coyne’s rampaging run down the right, followed by a slide-rule pass into the stride of Cazarine, who beat Warner all ends up, only for the post to deny the number nine Sydney’s second goal of the game.

In the 33rd minute, another poor goal-kick by Reddy swiftly saw Sanchez bearing down on goal with just the ‘keeper to beat. Wellington’s playmaker failed to do so, however, Reddy producing a fine parried denial before recovering to turn away Leo Bertos’ attempt to convert the rebound - a terrific double-save.

Three minutes before half-time, Wellington took the lead. Sydney’s rearguard suffered another lapse of concentration, and this time Daniel was the beneficiary, the scorer of Wellington’s first goal providing an incisive path into the stride of Sanchez, who took the ball on before deftly chipping home over the advancing Reddy into the far corner of the net.

2-1 could so easily have been 3-1 within ninety seconds. Again, Sydney’s defence was inattentive, and Bertos swooped, only for Reddy to keep his team in the contest. He hastily hoisted the ball downfield, sparking an attack which could very easily have seen the teams head to the dressing rooms on level terms.

Emerton received Reddy’s clearance, and looked to pick out Cazarine with a cross. The retreating figure of Muscat intervened, however, only to send his attempted clearance looping over Warner and onto the crossbar.

With the ‘keeper floundering in the net, Cazarine swooped on the rebound and lashed a first-time volley towards the target, the goal at his mercy. But alas for Sydney, the crossbar intervened again - an incredible finale to a wild first forty-five minutes.

The second spell couldn’t possibly live up to the quality of the first, and it didn’t, with both teams struggling to deliver accurate final ball, undoing their promising approach play in the process.

Occasionally, one or other would get the mix right, with the home team first to threaten in the 58th minute. Reddy was all at sea as Daniel set up a glorious chance for any of his team-mates to exploit upon receipt of Sanchez’s deep cross, but no-one in a striped shirt was up in support!

That wasn’t the case for Sydney four minutes later, as they drew level thanks to an Emerton-led counter-attack. His pass invited Cazarine to unleash a first-time shot which squirmed under the diving figure of Warner and beyond him into the net, despite the ‘keeper’s despairing efforts to recover his error.

2-2 then, and all to play for. Cazarine - a thorn in Wellington’s side throughout - came within inches of firing Sydney in front fourteen minutes from time after getting the better of Andrew Durante in a one-on-one situation.

But Durante’s defensive side-kick, Sigmund, provided the perfect riposte two minutes, his bullet-like six-yard header crashing into the net as he met a Bertos corner in full-blooded fashion.

Wellington’s 3-2 lead came within inches of being nullified five minutes later. Again, Emerton and Cazarine were the home team’s nemesis, the former picking out the latter with a cross which the striker met with a superb downward header. Warner plunged to his left to smother the ball right on the line - a terrific save.

And one which gave the home team the platform on which to consolidate their advantage, although they left it until virtually the last kick of the game to finally confirm their three-point haul, with Sanchez and Bertos combining for substitute Paul Ifill to wrap up a 4-2 win by slamming an unerring drive across Reddy into the far corner of the net deep in stoppage time.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 13+ Mid Week
3pm, Wednesday 4 January, 2011
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 4
(Daniel 26' pen, Daniel Sanchez 42', Ben Sigmund 79', Paul Ifill 90'+4)

Sydney FC 2
(Brett Emerton 16' pen, Bruno Cazarine 63')

    Crowd: 8,411


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Tony Warner (gk), 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Tony Lochhead, 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 9. Chris Greenacre (8. Paul Ifill +59') 11. Daniel (14. Mirjan Pavlovic +70'), 17. Vince Lia (24. Alex Smith +70'), 18. Ben Sigmund, 21. Daniel Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante (c)

    Substitutes not used: 1. Mark Paston (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Vince Lia 16 '
    Red Cards: Nil

    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Liam Reddy (gk), 3. Jamie Coyne (23. Rhyan Grant ‘53), 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton, 9. Bruno Cazarine, 11. Dimi Petratos (18. Juho Makela ‘59), 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (2. Sebastian Ryall ‘87), 17. Terry Antonis, 19. Mark Bridge.

    Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan Necevski (rgk)

    Coach: Vitislav Lavicka

    Yellow Cards: Jamie Coyne 25, Terry Antonis 67'
    Red Cards:Nil

    Referee: Alan Milliner 6/10
    Assistants: ; Fourth Official: Jan Hendrik Hintz, Mark Rule; 4th official: Adam Kersey

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Bruno Cazarine (SFC)
    2. Dani Sanchez (WP)
    1. Brett Emerton (SFC)

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 6/10

    Match Report and ratings: 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 implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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