Melbourne City dismantle the Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix were crushed 5-1 by a dominant Melbourne City side in Wellington on Saturday night.

It was a must win game for the Phoenix, that puts a finals place in serious doubt and leaves the team without a win in five.

They started the brighter of the two, despite seeing very little of the ball in the opening stages.

Hitting on the counter attack, the Nix looked dangerous coming forward with Kosta Barbarouses the key orchestrator.

Decent chances fell to both Roy Krishna and Roly Bonevacia early on, before Barbarouses was fouled brought down by Manny Muscat inside the area.

The striker stepped up for what would have been his second penalty in a matter of days, but his effort struck the upright as the home side were again left to rue missed chances.

They were made to pay minutes later, as the away team found the opening goal from their first real foray forward.

Nick Fitzgerald ventured forward into the Phoenix penalty area, his cross deflecting off of Ryan Lowry on its way into the net.

It was completely against the run of play, and as it was they would find another shortly after.

Bruno Fornaroli was kept relatively quiet in the first half, but nothing could stop him from scrapping home his sides second of the match. Manny Muscat’s flick found Fornarolli in what seemed to be an offside position at the back post, and the striker made no mistake in doubling the lead.

That’s how it stayed as the teams headed for the break, the Nix struggling to cling on to the season.

Roy Krishna was forced from the field in the opening minutes of the second half. It will prove to be a major blow for the Phoenix if it proves to be serious.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Nix as they were taken apart in the 57th minute. Josh Rose’s pull back found Anthony Caceres at the back post, who finished comfortably to put the result beyond doubt.

Barbarouses did manage to claw a goal back on the 70-minute mark. Nutmegging two defenders and the goalkeeper, the striker found his fourth of the season with a terrific solo goal.

Neil Kilkenny managed to extend the lead with a combative effort late on that put the result beyond any reasonable doubt, but even at 4-1 they weren’t done. Nicola Colazo would grab the fifth with just minutes remaining, finishing the match at 5-1

With the Phoenix slumping to yet another loss, their season is hanging by bare threads with a series of tough encounters to come.

They head to Brisbane next week, whereas City host table toppers Sydney FC.

Wellington Phoenix 1
Melbourne City 5

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro
Assistant Referees: Simon Lount & Sarah Jones
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

Wellington Phoenix: 1. MOSS, Glen (GK) 2. TRATT, Jacob 4. BONEVACIA, Rolieny 5. LOWRY Ryan 8. RODRIGUEZ Alex (25. SINGH, Sarpeet 67’) 9. BARBAROUSES, Kosta 11. WATSON, Hamish 13. ROSSI, Marco 17. LIA, Vince (c) 19. DOYLE Tom (12. PARKHOUSE, Adam 80’) 21. KRISHNA Roy (99. SMELTZ Shane 55’) 23. RIDENTON, Matthew
Substitutes: FOX, ITALIANO

Melbourne City: 1. SORENSEN, Thomas (GK) 2. MUSCAT, Manny 3. ROSE, Josh. 6. MALIK, Osama 8. KILKENNY, Neil 10. CACERES, Anthony 12. FITZGERALD, Nick 21. TONGYIK, Ruon 23. FORNAROLI, Bruno 26. BRATTAN, Luke 27. BRANDAN, Fernando
Substitutes: SOZER, GENREAU, RETRE, COLAZO, CAHILL

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