Phoenix on fire for distance derby

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Wellington Phoenix have taken out Perth Glory in a 3-1 victory at HBF Park, becoming back-to-back Distance Derby champs.

The troops met in Perth for their second clash of the season in a game that had both sides fighting for the full 90 minutes.

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Glory controlled the opening minutes of the match, creating several close-range chances but weak execution saw them reap no reward.

Wellington were quick to respond driving the ball into their half for chances of their own, but the strong hands of Liam Reddy prevented all their opportunities.

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Disaster struck in the 13th minute when Glory’s Carlo Armiento was struck mid-attack and left clutching his knee. He was down for several minutes but referee Daniel Elder awarded no penalty to the team after consulting the VAR.

Momentum from both sides had the ball going end to end in hopes of securing the opener for the night.

Glory had a strong chance in the 32nd minute when Armiento made a fast break away from the contest before finding a wide-open Chris Ikonomidis, but fast feet from the Nix’s Steven Taylor found him sliding in to knock the ball off track.

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Following pressure from both squads, Phoenix had a very near chance in the 43rd minute when Jaushua Sotirio shot from the top of the box only to have it scathe outside the near post by mere centimetres.

The second half saw both sides driven by the determination to score and claim the lead, sparking intense play in the opening minutes.

Another close call came for Wellington in the 50th when Cameron Devlin caught a through ball from Ulises Davila and sent the ball rocketing into the left post and bouncing out of the box.

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A tactical error from Reddy saw the Nix bag the first goal of the night in the 55th minute. Reddy ran to deflect the long ball to Sotirio, but his efforts were caught by Ben Waine who sent the ball crashing into an unguarded net to make it 1-0.

Joel Chianese’s fast footwork snagged the equaliser for Glory, dancing past the defence to strike from the top left of the box in the 58th minute to make it 1-1.

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In the 66th minute another parry from Reddy scored the Nix their second goal reinstating their lead 2-1. He deflected a shot from Davila into the path of Fenton, who slid the ball through the bottom corner to score the club’s 500th A-league goal.

Spurred by confidence, Sotirio earnt the side their third in the 75th minute of play, with a high ball into the net, past the grasp of Reddy to make it 3-1.

In the end, the Phoenix’s gameplay proved too much for Glory who fell short of a win, going down 3-1 despite their valiant efforts down to the final whistle.

Perth Glory: 1 Chianese (57’)

Wellington Phoenix: 3 Waine (54’) Fenton (66’) Sotirio (74’)

HBF Park

Referee: Daniel Elder
Assistant Referees: Josh Mannella, Arvin Shanmuganathan
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

Perth Glory: Liam REDDY (GK), Jason GERIA, Osama MALIK, Chris IKONOMIDIS, Kosuke OTA, Bruno FORNAROLI, Andrew KEOGH, Carlo ARMIENTO, Darryl LACHMAN, Riley WARLAND, Neil KILKENNY, Joel CHIANESE (Sub 45’), Diego CASTRO (Sub 59’), Callum TIMMINS (Sub 59’), Ciaran BRAMWELL (Sub 75’)
Unused subs: Johnathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Joshua RAWLINS, Tando VELAPHI

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver SAIL (GK), Timothy PAYNE, Cameron DEVLIN, David BALL, Ulises DAVILA, Jaushua SOTIRIO, Louis FENTON, Benjamin WAINE, Sam SUTTON, Clayton LEWIS, Steven TAYLOR, James MCGARRY (Sub 88’), Alex RUFER (sub 90’), Joshua LAWS (Sub 90+1’)
Unused subs: Matthew RIDENTON, Charles LOKOLI NGOY, Mirza MURATOVIC, Stefan MARINOVIC (GK)

Feature Image Credit: Breanna Redhead

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Breanna Redhead
Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season

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