Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Last-Gasp Glory goal sinks Wellington
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 14
4pm, Sunday 8 January, 2012
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 0
lost to
Perth Glory FC 1
(Josh Mitchell 90'+3)

(linked from FFA web site)

A last-gasp Josh Mitchell header, from an Andrezinho free-kick which should never have been awarded, so blatant was the dive which earned it, allowed Perth Glory to score a first-ever win in New Zealand’s capital over Wellington Phoenix at a rain-and-windswept Westpac Stadium on January 8.

The visitors’ 1-0 win was achieved in terrible playing conditions, and was one of very few moments of note in a Hyundai A-League encounter which saw Tim Brown become Wellington’s first centurion - this was his 100th A-League game for the club.

Chances were at a premium throughout. Wellington produced the first of them, an eighth minute move inspired by Daniel Cortes which was enhanced by Leo Bertos’ cross, targeting Chris Greenacre.

Josh Risdon’s clearance was timely on this occasion, but fifteen minutes later he sliced an attempted clearance of a Daniel cross towards his own net. Danny Vukovic spared his team-mate’s blushes, the only time he was called upon in the first half.

His opposite number, Tony Warner, produced two saves either side of the half-hour to deny Travis Dodd and Liam Miller, and denied the hard-working Steven McGarry on the stroke of half-time by parrying then smothering his ten-yard attempt to break the deadlock, which followed enterprising play by Miller.

The 3,898 hardy souls who braved the elements deserved far better than what they had witnessed in the first forty-five minutes, and gained early hope as Wellington started in far sharper fashion than had previously been seen in this match.

Just two minutes after the resumption, a Leo Bertos corner was flicked on by Greenacre to the far post, where Daniel was only denied by Miller’s timely block. The Brazilian was to go closer still nine minutes later, thumping a fifteen-yarder against the crossbar after the game’s best move involved Dani Sanchez, Greenacre and Bertos, who instigated the attack then provided the cross which picked out Daniel.

Sadly for Wellington, that was as good as it got, a low cross which eluded Vukovic’s grasp nineteen minutes from time, but not the attention of the covering Steve Pantelidis, the only other occasion in the second half when the home team threatened to score.

Perth engineered a few half-chances - Andrew Durante and Ben Sigmund were at their belligerent best in dealing with those - but neither could do anything to prevent their old club-mate from finally exploiting some space in the 66th minute.

McGarry’s hard running and measured lay-off allowed Shane Smeltz to let fly from the edge of the penalty area, a shot which careered past Warner at such speed that the ‘keeper barely moved. Fortunately for Wellington, the ball hit the crossbar, bounced down on the line and back into the field of play, much to the chagrin of their former leading marksman.

The game appeared certain to finish in a scoreless stalemate when Andrezinho, who fired an 87th minute free-kick straight at Warner, line up another set-piece in the third minute of stoppage time for a foul which should never have been awarded - it was a dive of Swan Lake proportions, and the match officials, who generally did well in the challenging conditions, got this one well wrong.

Andrezinho’s free-kick arced in from the left, and was allowed to bounce on the edge of the goal area by the static figure of Warner, who remained rooted to the spot as Mitchell stole in beyond the far post and headed home between the ‘keeper and his near post as substitute Alex Smith, who was covering the Perth defender, made like a statue in a garden display.

The visitors erupted with delight, and the final whistle soon after allowed them to celebrate one of their greatest triumphs - a maiden victory in Wellington, a deserved result which will make their 5,258km trip home all the sweeter.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 14
4pm, Sunday 8 January, 2012
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 0
lost to
Perth Glory FC 1
(Josh Mitchell 90'+3)

    Crowd: 11,866


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    Warner (gk); Muscat, Durante (booked, 84), Sigmund, Lochhead (booked, 78); Brown, Sanchez, Lia (Smith, 72); Bertos, Greenacre (Ifill, 61), Daniel (Pavlovic, 61)

    Substitutes not used: Mark Paston (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: 77" Tony LOCHHEAD 84, Andrew DURANTE'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Perth Glory FC :
    Player listing:
    Vukovic; Risdon, Pantelidis (booked, 83), Mitchell, Howarth; Miller, Burns (Hughes, 86), McGarry; Dodd, Smeltz (Andrezinho, 73), Sterjovski

    Substitutes not used: tba (rgk)

    Coach: Ian Ferguson

    Yellow Cards: Steve PANTELIDIS 82'
    Red Cards:Nil

    Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones 6/10
    Assistants: Nathan Macdonald, Jan Hendrik Hintz; Fourth Official: Matthew Conger

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. McGarry (PG)
    2. Daniel (WP)
    1. Miller (PG)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 3/10

    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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