Wellington sun unable to shine in 10-man Phoenix’s favour

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The sun was out and the wind was blowing as Wellington Phoenix hosted an opening game of the A-League Men season for the first time in two years. 

Some 8,325 fans wearing yellow flocked to Sky Stadium to see their home side in action for what should be a full home campaign for the first time since the 2018/19 season. 

The 10-man home side picked up a 1-1 draw against an Adelaide United outfit, who controlled possession right from the first whistle and were the side that probably should have won the game.  

The Nix put some pressure on Adelaide’s backline for the first few minutes, pressing Adelaide who held majority of the ball for the opening 10 minutes. 

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It took just two minutes for the visitors to create the first chance of the game, the ball swung into the path of Louis D’Arrigo, who hit the ball first time outside the box over the crossbar. 

Wellington’s new Brazilian attacker Yan Sasse didn’t have the starting debut he would have wanted. Sent off 25 minutes into the match after putting in a devastating late tackle with his studs up. 

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This shifted the Phoenix’s mindset to a defensive style. However, 10 minutes later, they created their first chance of the game when Oil Sail put Nicholas Pennington through, who put his shot high and wide of the left post. 

The second-half was much the same, with Adelaide controlling the most of the possession. But chances were a plenty for both sides. 

The Phoenix created what was the first goal-scoring opportunity of the match when Oskar Zawada took off with the ball on a beautiful run to only hit his one-on-one shot straight at Adelaide’s keeper Joe Gauci

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It took 75 minutes for substitute Ben Waine to open the scoring in front of the passionate crowd, tapping in a rebound after Kosta Barbarouses made a good run and fired a shot that was saved by Gauci. 

It looked like the Nix were going to escape with all three points, before Ben Halloran got onto the end of a cross in added time.  

What’s next for both teams?

Well, Wellington will remain in the capital when they host Central Coast Mariners next Sunday, while Adelaide head to Macarthur also to be played on the same day

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Ben Waine 75’) 

Adelaide United 1 (Ben Halloran 90+3’) 

Sky Stadium 

Referee: Ben Abraham 

Assistant Referees: Mark Rule and Issac Trevis 

Fourth Official: Anna-Marie Keighley 

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver SAIL (GK), Scott WOOTON, Steven UGARKOVIC, Timothy PAYNE, Kosta BARBAROUSES, Oskar ZAWADA (Ben OLD 56’), Bozhidar KRAEV (Ben WAINE 56’), Lucas MAURAGIS (Callan ELLIOT 65’), Nicholas PENNINGTON (Clayton LEWIS 65’), Joshua LAWS, Yan Medeiros SASSE 

Unused subs: Alexander PAULSEN (GK), Finn SURMAN, Oskar VAN HATTUM  

Adelaide United: Joe GAUCI (GK), Harry VAN DER SAAG (Craig GOODWIN 56’), Louis D’ARRIGO (Ethan ALAGICH 86’), Ryan KITTO, ISAIAS, Zach CLOUGH, Lachlan BARR (Asad KASUMOVIĆ 86’), George BLACKWOOD (Musa TOURE 73’), Javi LÓPEZ, Benjamin HALLORAN, Alexander POPOVIC

Unused subs: James DELIANOV (GK), Benjamin WARLAND, JUANDE

Featured image credit: Speed Media 

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Nick Jensen
Nick Jensen
Journalism Student at Massey University Wellington and a passionate Football Fan, covering the Wellington Phoenix Men and Women for the 2022/23 season.

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