Wellington Phoenix keep A-League playoff hopes alive

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 May 2021, 12:35PM
Phoenix striker Tomer Hemed. (Photo / Photosport)
Phoenix striker Tomer Hemed. (Photo / Photosport)

Wellington Phoenix keep A-League playoff hopes alive

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 May 2021, 12:35PM

The Wellington Phoenix have exploited a lack of Western Sydney defence to keep their A-League play-off hopes alive with a 2-1 win.

The seventh-placed side scored two first-half goals from corners. David Ball tapped in at the far post in the 24th minute for his fifth goal of the season after pouncing on a loose ball in front of goal.

Keanu Baccus levelled the game for the Wanderers five minutes later before Israel's Tomer Hemed put Wellington in front again in the 42nd minute. Clayton Lewis found Hemed free in the box from the corner as he scored in ninth goal in 12 games.

The Wanderers had a final onslaught in the closing minute of the game with defender Tim Payne making a crucial block on goal to deny the home side an equaliser in injury time.

Ufuk Talay's side now sit two points behind both Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners, but have played one extra game.

The Phoenix head back across the Tasman to host eight-placed Perth Glory at Eden Park on Sunday with a win needed to jump into the top six.

There will be concerns over the fitness of young Phoenix star Reno Piscopo who left the field inside the opening 10 minutes with a shoulder injury.