Kurto and Wellington have stunners

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The first half of the Wellington Phoenix’s 2-0 win over Western United was their best football of the season. Ironically, the same could be said for United goalie Filip Kurto.

Without the big Pole in goal, it would have been a bloodbath for Mark Rudan’s men. For the first half, Wellington were all over Western. Ulises Dávila and Reno Piscopo both had shots ricochet off the post, and Kurto was forced to make countless fantastic other saves.

A great passing move where Callum McCowatt fire from close range. Gary Hooper shooting from point blank. Piscopo’s long range effort. David Ball’s shot from distance.

Save, save, save, save.

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Over the course of the game, Kurto faced nine shots on target. Over the course of the game, he was a brick wall. He could do nothing about Wellington’s goals.

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“He was fantastic, wasn’t he? Sensational. He kept us in the game,” United coach Mark Rudan said on his no.1.

“He’s what gave us a bit of positivity heading into the second half. That performance of his deserved reward. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

Rudan’s counterpart, Ufuk Talay also acknowledged the presence and effect of Kurto.

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“I think that first half was the best football we’ve played this season,” he said.

“We were in the right areas, we had good opportunities, but just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“Filip kept them in the game. I thought he was great in the first half.”

Western United have won just one of their past seven games. Without Kurto, things would be a lot worse.

While Kurto is getting the plaudits here, Wellington deserve them as well, because they did eventually get past the 28 year-old thanks to Ball and Liberato Cacace.

The Nix played exciting attacking football that was beautiful to watch as Western’s outfield players were just cut up by a clinical and brilliant Wellington who now have a nine-point buffer between them and seventh place.

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Oh, and remember that this is the Wellington side that suffered their worst ever start to an A-League campaign.

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