Nix hand Victory a 3-0 thrashing in final NZ game

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With no more games in New Zealand this season, the Wellington Phoenix said farewell to their home by doing what they did best – by winning emphatically.

The Phoenix did not take long to get started. Just 150 seconds in, Tim Payne sent in a cross which found Reno Piscopo’s header and allowed Ulises Dávila to thrash it into the top of the net.

Such a beautiful goal was given a beautiful celebration when Cameron Devlin and Dávila imitated rocking a baby – a nod to the recent birth of Dávila’s child.

The Nix’s dominance continued throughout the first twenty minutes, and Gary Hooper would display it by doubling Wellington’s lead in the 21st.

The marquee striker headed a cross in from the red hot Liberato Cacace and Melbourne Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas could only watch the ball float above and beyond him despite Hooper’s back being towards the goal when he scored.

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Victory’s first real chance came through the Kiwi Messi, as Marco Rojas forced an excellent save out of Stefan Marinovic in the 28th minute.

Rojas once again proved his prowess in the 35th minute, and had it not been for Payne’s block after Rojas rounded Marinovic, Victory would have scored and the Kiwi would have had an assist.

By half time the Melbourne side had somewhat grown back into the game, but the Nix went into the changing rooms with a deserved 2-0 lead.

Wellington would score their third in typical fashion in the 54th minute, whe Hooper played an incredibly long pass for David Ball, who somehow managed to beat three different Victory defenders before scoring.

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Victory continued to have scattered chances as the game went on. James Donachie had one of those few solid chances for the Victory, with his shot from a tight angle forcing Marinovic to palm it away.

Andrew Nabbout looked like he was the man who unlocked Wellington’s defence when his shot from distance found its way through traffic into the net, but Ola Toivonen strayed offside resulting in a tedious VAR check which kept Wellington’s clean sheet.

Both sides had a few final chances to score, but the ball was not going back into the net. In what will be their final game in New Zealand this season, the Phoenix bid haere rā to New Zealand with a convincing win.

However, the future for both sides looks uncertain. With a 14-day quarantine now required when entering Australia, when these two sides will next play is anyone’s guess.

Wellington Phoenix 3 (Dávila 3’ Hooper 21, Ball 54’)

Melbourne Victory 0

Sky Stadium

Attendance: 7519

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Refs: Mark Rule, Sarah Jones
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar
VAR: Nick Waldron

Wellington Phoenix: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Luke DEVERE, Matti STEINMANN, Tim PAYNE, Reno PISCOPO (Jaushua SOTIRIO 79′), Cameron DEVLIN (Alex RUFER 62’), David BALL (Ben WAINE 87′), Ulises DÁVILA, Liberato CACACE, Steven TAYLOR (C), Gary HOOPER
Unused subs: Oliver SAIL, Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, Brandon WILSON, Callum McCOWATT

Melbourne Victory: Lawrence Thomas (GK), Storm ROUX, James DONACHIE, Leigh BROXHAM (C), Andrew NABBOUT, Birkan KIRDAR (Ola TOIVONEN 56’), Elvis KAMSOBA, Benjamin CARRIGAN, Marco ROJAS (Brandon LAUTON 80′), Anthony LESIOTIS (So NISHIKAWA 56’)
Unused Subs: Matthew ACTON (GK), Kenny Athiu, Aaron ANDERSON

Featured image credit: Cameron McIntosh

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