Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Wellington Punctures Perth’s
Play-Off Prospects
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 25
4pm, Sunday 17 March, 2013
at East Perth Oval (aka Nib Stadium)

Perth Glory FC 1
(Nagai 75')
lost to
Wellington Phoenix FC 2
(Ifill 35', Huysegems 67')

Bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix punctured Perth Glory’s Hyundai A-League play-offs prospects at NIB Stadium on St. Patrick’s Day, upsetting the locals 2-1 to the disbelief of the majority of the 6,360 fans present.

In a game which didn’t rise to great heights, the visitors first threatened through Paul Ifill in the fifth minute, but Michael Thwaite denied him in the act of shooting. Five minutes later, fellow defender Scott Jamieson was fortunate to escape a booking after a late studs-up challenge on Ben Sigmund.

Wellington’s iconic defender overcame that blow, and within seven minutes prevented Chris Harold from breaking the deadlock with a timely block, the rebound from which saw Ryo Nagai curl an effort into the gloves of Glen Moss, who launched the ball downfield.

It found its way through to his opposite number, Danny Vukovic, whose error of judgement nearly cost his side a goal. The ‘keeper’s poor touch allowed the lurking figure of Jeremy Brockie to swoop, but Vukovic recovered just in time to hack the ball to safety.

The best move of the match thus far materialised in the 25th minute, with Corey Gameiro and Leo Bertos working a one-two which invited Ifill - his best game for some time - to set off on a mazy run at the Perth defence which culminated in an attempted chip of Vukovic.

The ‘keeper grabbed this, and led the applause seven minutes later as his opposite number pulled off a superb save. After punching clear an inviting Jamieson free-kick, Moss, produced a flying save to his left to prevent Matias Cordoba from thrashing home a crisply struck twenty-yarder.

Ten minutes before half-time, Wellington opened the scoring. A solo raid by Brockie saw him get the better of a defender and get to somewhere near the by-line before he unleashed an acute-angled shot.

It struck Vukovic at his near post and ricocheted into the stride of the incoming figure of Ifill, whose unerring finish left the stranded ‘keeper without a prayer of stopping the ball.

That roused Perth into life, and twice before half-time they found Moss standing between them and an equaliser. Countryman Shane Smeltz was left to bemoan his All Whites’ team-mate in the fortieth minute, as Moss tipped his curling effort to safety.

Three minutes later, Liam Miller, Harold and the ever-industrious Steven McGarry combined to good effect, with the first-mentioned ultimately firing the shot which Moss plunged to his left to preserve Wellington’s advantage through to half-time.

An uninspiring start to the second spell was given the much-needed shot in the arm it was crying out for in the 67th minute, not that there were many Perth fans crying out when it happened.

They were stunned into silence as Wellington doubled their lead. Substitute Isaka Cernak sent Brockie buccaneering down the left once more, and his teasing cross to the far post found Stein Huysegems arriving on cue.

The Belgian’s header sailed past Vukovic into the far corner of the net, and Perth were suddenly faced with a mountain to climb, and only 23 minutes left in which to scale it.

Their initial attempts to do so nearly saw them caught on the counter-attack just three minutes after the goal. Gameiro released Brockie down the left again, and he took the ball on before laying back into Ifill’s stride.

Wellington’s talisman jinked his way in-field before unleashing a curling effort which Vukovic tipped round the post at full stretch - it was far corner-bound had he failed to make contact. Bertos’ resulting corner was headed inches over the bar by the unmarked Andrew Durante.

Cue Perth’s riposte, and they didn’t have long to wait to halve the deficit. In the 76th minute, Cordoba and Harold combined, with the overlapping McGarry the ultimate recipient of their invention.

The midfielder’s clipped cross to the far post found Nagai soaring above Manny Muscat, and his towering header arced beyond the fingertips of Moss and into the far side of the net - 2-1, and game very much on!

Sadly for Perth, they failed to make much head-way in the face of resolute Wellington defending throughout the remainder of the match. But in the last minute, they came desperately close to levelling the scores, with Moss producing a vital save at close quarters from substitute Travis Dodd as he bore down on goal in pursuit of the equaliser.

2-1 to Wellington it remained, however, a result which gives the beaten team a wee bit of hope that they may yet avoid the wooden spoon, while leaving Perth with just two games in which to secure their play-off hopes.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 25
4pm, Sunday 17 March, 2013
at East Perth Oval (aka Nib Stadium)

Perth Glory FC 1
(Nagai 75')
lost to
Wellington Phoenix FC 2
(Ifill 35', Huysegems 67')

    Crowd: 6,360


    Perth Glory FC :
    Player listing:
    Vukovic (gk); Risdon, Thwaite, Jamieson; Harold (Ward +90'), McGarry, Burns, Cordoba, Nagai; Smeltz (Dodd +65'), Miller (de Silva +60)

    Substitutes not used: tba (rgk)

    Coach: Alistair Edwards

    Yellow Cards: Jacon Burns 90', Cordoba 79', Liam Miller 53'
    Red Cards:Nil

    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    Moss (gk); Lochhead (Cernak +64'), Sigmund, Durante, Hogg; Bertos, Muscat, Gameiro, Ifill (Lindsay +82); Brockie, Huysegems (Sanchez +90')

    Substitutes not used: Mark Paston (rgk), tba

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Tony Lochhead 36; Andrew Durante 55', Leo Bertos 81', Corey Gamiero 66', Paul Ifill 73'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Jarred Gillett 4/10

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Paul Ifill (WP)
    2. Steve McGary (PG)
    1. Glen Moss (WP)

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 5/10

    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 are as attributed.

Crafted lovingly by hand
By fans, for fans
© Magic Llama 2000 - 2013