Nix snatch second half draw with Wanderers

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Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland was the venue as Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers played out a frantic 2-2 draw.

Off the back of an impressive 3-0 victory over Central Coast Mariners in Hamilton Last week the ‘Nix were looking to continue their impressive start to life post Ernie Merrick.

Jacob Tratt was given the first chance of the match, Gui Finkler’s whipped corner headed narrowly wide by the defender who looked to continue his fine run of form.

Make shift left back Adam Parkhouse was brought down in the box moments later, replays showing the referee was correct to wave away penalty appeals.

Minutes and later and Parkhouse was needed in the defensive end, a last ditch tackle on Nico Martinez showing the sort of form that saw him earn a new two-year deal with the club.

It was a terrific finish that opened the scoring.

Against the run of play, Brendan Santalab’s 20th minute acrobatic volley following a corner will be a goal of the season contender to put the Wanderers ahead 1-0.

Despite being a goal down it was the New Zealanders who looked the better side throughout the first half and it stayed that way as they players went in for the break.

Wanderers looked to hold significantly more ball than they did in the first half, and it paid dividends on the 56th minute mark.

Mitch Nichols found space in behind the Wellington defense, was brilliantly found by Joshua Sotirio, and calmly stroked home to make it 2-0.

Wellington had a chance to hit straight back on the hour mark after Roy Krishna was awarded a penalty for being brought down in the box.

Gui Finkler was the man to step up and he made no mistake as he slotted past Jerrad Tyson to make it 2-1, his first goal for the Phoenix.

It was a frantic spell of play that did not stop there and just three minutes later Andrew Durante brought Sotirio down inside the area. Wellington keeper Glen Moss kept his side in the game and obligingly saved Dilmas Delgado’s poorly struck penalty.

The equaliser would be found in the 68th minute when Krishna headed home his seventh goal of the season from a terrific Parkhouse cross.

Neither side were guilty of looking to settle for the draw in what was one of the more entertaining second halves in the A-League this season.

The closing stages saw little left on the pitch with both teams clearly suffering from fatigue but it would remain 2-2, a fair result after an even match.

Wellington Phoenix now head to Newcastle to face the Jets on Boxing Day next week, whilst the Wanderers tackle the Roar in Brisbane.

Wellington Phoenix: 2 (Finkler, Krishna)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 2 ( Santalab, Nichols)

Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: Mark Rule and Glen Lochrie

Stadium: Mt Smart Stadium

Wellington Phoenix: 1. MOSS, Glen (GK), 2. TRATT, Jacob, 4. BONEVACIA, Rolieny, 7. FINKLER, Guilherme, 9. BARBAROUSES, Kosta, 11. WATSON, Hamish (67’ 14. DOYLE, Tom ) 12. PARKHOUSE, Adam (24. ROGERSON, Logan) 13. ROSSI, Michael, 17. LIA, Vince 21. KRISHNA, Roy 22. DURANTE, Andrew (C)
Substitutes: 20. ITALIONO 5. LOWRY, Ryan 23. RIDENTON, Matthew

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. TYSON, Jerrad 3. CLISBY, Jack 6. NICHOLS, Mitch 8. DELGADO, Dilmas (c) 10. MARTINEZ Nico 11. SANTALAB Brendon (85’ 23. SCOTT Lachlan) 12. NEVILLE Scott 15. BACCUS, Kearyn 16. SOTIRIO, Jushua (72’ 14. KUSUKAMI Lumpei) 17. BORDA, Aritz 22. ASPRO Jonathan
Substitutes: 20. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK) 5. HAMILL Brendan, 13. PINATARES Bruno,

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