Fornaroli and Ikonomidis give Perth their first win in Wellington

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Perth Glory took home their first win, leaving Wellington Phoenix winless going into round four, thanks to a 2-1 victory in the distance derby.

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Phoenix dominated the first five minutes to create multiple chances, but the familiar story of a poor finishing touch plagued the Kiwis.

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Glory took control of the match 11 minutes in, as Bruno Fornaroli scored his first of the season to put the travelling side ahead.

Diego Castro darted and weaved his way down the left and through what seemed to be the entire Nix defence before a simple pass allowed Fornaroli to make it 1-0.

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Five minutes later Perth missed an easy opportunity to double their lead when a Chris Ikonomidis run resulted in a simple pass to Fornaroli, but the Uruguayan couldn’t hit it. Soobeom Kim connected with the ball instead but a wonder save from Stefan Marinovic blocked the shot.

Controversy struck in the 25th minute when Gregory Wuthrich launched a two-footed challenge from behind on David Ball but was only shown a yellow, much to the ire of Phoenix fans. 

By the half-hour mark, Perth was well in control and was unlucky to not have doubled their lead. 

In the 33rd minute, poor defending from the Phoenix allowed Fornaroli to send a ball to Ikonomidis who would go on to smash it home to make it 2-0 into half time.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, with the Phoenix being the better side, but again, the lack of a finishing touch was their downfall.

Perth had the first real chance of the second half with Fornaroli yet again forcing a good save out of Marinovic. However, the second half proved not as open and explosive as the first as both sides tightened up.

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The Phoenix slowly improved and started to create good chances, such as when Glory’s Liam Reddy was forced into a double save from David Ball and Ulises Davila. Yet, they remained scoreless.

In the dying seconds of added time, Gary Hooper went down in the box to give the hosts a penalty.

Davila converted from the spot to make it 2-1 but it was only a consolation for the winless Wellington side as they look ahead to round four.

Wellington Phoenix: 1 (Davila 95′)
Perth Glory: 2 (Fornaroli 11’, Ikonomidis 33’)
Westpac Stadium
Attendance: 6054

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referees: Wilson Brown, Daniel Ilievski 
Fourth official: Lachlan Keevers 

Wellington Phoenix: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Luke DEVERE, Matti STEINMANN, David BALL, Ulises DAVILA, Jaushua SOTIRIO, Alex RUFER (Reno PISCOPO 60’), Louis FENTON, Callum MCCOWATT, Walter SCOTT, Steven TAYLOR (c)  

Unused subs: Oliver SAIL (GK), Liam MCGING, Tim PAYNE, Cameron DEVLIN, Ben WAINE, Gary HOOPER 

Perth Glory: Liam REDDY (GK), Alex GRANT, Gregory WUTHRICH, Ivan FRANJIC, Bruno FORNAROLI, Soobeom KIM, Osama MALIK (Dino DJULBIC 89’), Diego CASTRO (c), Chris IKONOMIDIS (Kristian POPOVIC 64’), JUANDE, Neil KILKENNY

Unused subs: Tando VELAPHI (GK), Jacob TRATT, Joel CHIANESE, Gabriel POPOVIC

Feature image credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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Dan Moskovitz
Dan Moskovitz
The Football Sack's resident teen kiwi football nut. Loves everything football except defeats.

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