Wellington end Adelaide’s four game winning streak

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For the first time in five years, Wellington Phoenix has won in Adelaide after defeating Adelaide united 2-1.

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The Phoenix started the better of the two sides as Jaushua Sotirio found space on the right and floated in a cross to the back post for a Reno Piscopo’s header but it went straight to Paul Izzo.

Adelaide settled into the game and won a succession of corners, exploiting the Nix down the right side.

Louis D’Arrigo’s out-swinging corner caused the Phoenix concern when Michael Maria rose highest and headered towards goal, forcing a smart save from Nix keeper Stefan Marinovic.

The Phoenix grabbed hold of the game and through Tim Payne found space on the right-hand side. One Payne cross expertly found Sotirio unmarked at the front post but his header sailed over the crossbar.

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Wellington thought they had been rewarded for their attacking pressure after half an hour when referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot for a push on Sotirio from Reds’ captain Michael Jakobsen. It was not to be, as VAR intervened and overturned the decision which was deemed to be outside of the penalty area.

The Nix had a golden opportunity to take the lead five minutes from the break through Sotirio but Izzo denied the 24-year-old winger his first goal in yellow and black.

Ufuk Talay’s side finished the half strongly as Adelaide struggled to deal with their pressure and were lucky to go into the break without conceding.

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Gertjan Verbeek sensed the danger and responded by making a double substitution at half time – replacing Ben Halloran with George Blackwood and Toure with Kristian Opseth.

Blackwood was involved straight away and delivered one of the best openings of the game for the Reds. He was played through on the left by Mileusnic but the Nix were resolute in defence and blocked his shot.

Five minutes later Mileusnic gave Adelaide the lead in incredible fashion. He received the ball from a Riley McGree header after a throw-in, chested it down and unbelievably volleyed it over the helpless Marinovic in the Wellington net.

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Nix head coach, Talay responded by replacing defender Matti Steinmann with star Englishman Gary Hooper.

The change worked, as Wellington found the goal they were searching for. Sotirio found space on the right and lashed in a low driven cross to David Ball whose shot trickled past Izzo for the equaliser.

Blackwood brought down Liberato Cacace in the penalty area and the subsequent spot-kick was converted by Davila giving Wellington a 2-1 lead. Izzo guessed the right way but could not stop the Mexican from scoring his fifth A-League goal.

The Reds tried to find an equaliser as the game drew to a close and came close with Mileusnic but it was not to be as they suffered their third defeat of the season.

The win for the Phoenix lifts them off the foot of the table.

Adelaide United 1 (Mileusnic 57’)
Wellington Phoenix
2 (Ball 67, Davila 71’)

Coopers Stadium

Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant Referees: Paul Cetrangolo, Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder

Adelaide United: Paul IZZO (GK), Michael MARRONE, Michael JAKOBSON (C), Riley MCGREE (Ryan KITTO 76’), Ryan STRAIN, Louis D’ARRIGO, James TROISI, Michaël MARIA, Nikola MILEUSNIC, Ben HALLORAN (George BLACKWOOD 46’), Al Hassan TOURE (Kristian OPSETH 46’)

Unused subs: Isaac RICHARDS (GK), Vince LIA, Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, Jordan ELSEY

Wellington Phoenix: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Luke DE VERE, Matti STEINMANN (Gary HOOPER 64’), Timothy PAYNE, RENO PISCOPO (Cameron DEVLIN 71’), David BALL, Ulises DAVILA, Jaushua SOTIRIO (Callum MCCOWATT 83′), Liberato CACACE, Alex RUFER, Steven TAYLOR

Unused subs: Oliver SAIL (GK), Sam SUTTON, Benjamin WAINE, Liam MCGING

Feature image credit: Cameron McIntosh

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