Glory too much for Phoenix

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The Wellington Phoenix were close but just not close enough in their first game of the 2014/15 A-League season against Perth Glory, going down 2-1 in what was a tightly-contested match.

With more shots on goal than the Glory in the first half, the Nix’s downfall was the same thing that plagued them last season, which was their inability to get the ball into the goal.

However, the increased activity in their mid-field was apparent, with Nathan Burns, Michael McGlinchey and Roly Bonevacia all working well together, showcasing a strong midfield which was missing last year.

The midfield Ernie Merrick created this year was a virtually new line up, besides Albert Riera, who missed the second half of last season due to injury.

Bonevacia was expected to be one of the dominating factors and he did not disappoint, being quick off the ball and working well with other key players on the field.

Glory started the match strong and attacked straight off the whistle, with the first 15 minutes off the game well and truly dominated by Glory.

The Phoenix slowly started to wake up, and in the  17th minute had their first chance on goal.

This opportunity saw both McGlinchey and Bonevacia have a go, but neither were able to create any rewards from it.

Jeremy Brockie was getting himself into great angles to score with Burns moving the ball up the field well, showcasing himself as a key feeder to the strikers.

31 minutes in, Perth Glory finally broke the drought and Andy Keogh managed to get his head to a great ball put across by Mitch Nichols, sending it into the bottom left corner and giving them the 1-0 lead.

Glory continued to up their play and finished the end of the first half strong.

When the second half kicked off, both teams came out strong and were evenly matched.

The addition of Louis Fenton at 61 minutes for Thomas Doyle seemed to give the Phoenix an extra kick, and they started to attack with full force.

Finally, with 10 minutes to go, McGlinchey got his foot to the ball and into the goal after a great across ball from Burns.

This ball came from good linking with Bonevacia, with these three showing they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

The Phoenix continued to dominate the end of the second half with Burns proving his worth over and over, and the team as a whole started to attack well.

However, a break away from Jamie Maclaren saw him send a world class strike into the top left corner of the goal, giving Glory their second and final goal for the match, leaving them with the 2-1 victory.

If the Phoenix want to return Westpac Stadium in Wellington to the winning fortress it once was, they will have to focus on what has always been their downfall, playing a consistent 90 minutes of football and utilising every opportunity to score.

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Glen MOSS, 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Roly BONEVACIA, 8. Alejandro RODRIGUEZ, 9. Nathan BURNS, 10. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11. Jeremy BROCKIE, 13. Albert RIERA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 22. Andrew DURANTE SUBS: 5. Michael BOXALL, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Vince LIA, 20. Lewis ITALIANO, 21. Roy KRISHNA.

Perth Glory squad: 1.  Danny VUKOVIC 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 6. Dino DULBIC, 7. Youssouf HERSI, 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA,  17. Mitch NICHOLS, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE SUBS: 14. Chris HAROLD, 15. Jamie MACLAREN,  3. Brandon O’NEIL  18. Jack DUNCAN  13. Diogo FERREIRA

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