Defensive set-pieces a worry for Wellington Phoenix and Ufuk Talay

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Wellington Phoenix were destined for all three points before a second-half collapse thanks to Melbourne Victory swung it the other way.

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Going in 1-0 up at half-time, Wellington Phoenix controlled the first 45 where they dominated possession.

The second-half wasn’t the same, as Melbourne Victory came out of the sheds and flipped the coin with two second-half goals in the space of 18 minutes.

Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay was shocked at how his side threw away three points in their 2-1 defeat to the Victory.

“It’s a disappointing three points that we’ve lost, we gave them two goals from our poor defensive set-up,” he said.

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Both goals came from corners, with the first meeting the head of Damien Da Silva who nodded the ball back-post to an unmarked Bruno Fornaroli who tapped it into the net.

The second landed to the feet of Damien Da Silva once again as he contested the corner, with the attacker smacking the ball past Nix keeper Oli Sail into the bottom-corner.

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Melbourne had plenty more chances to extend their lead, and it took some brilliant keeping from Sail and some good Phoenix defending to keep the visitors from scoring more.

From the game today, it was clear that the backline was to blame for the poor performance as the two-goals showed that.

Talay still believes his side is good enough to contest for the top-four and secure a home final.

“We believe we’re a good team, we believe we can push again, there are 12 points up for grabs,” he said.

With four games left in the regular A-League Men season with three of those games away from home, it will be a tough task for the Nix to finish in the top-four.

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Two of those last four games are against top-four placed teams Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers.

If Wellington can sort out their defensive woes and take their chances, they will be in with a shot to finish in the top-four.

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It will not only give them confidence that they can go all the way, but they can host a game in the finals series which is something the Phoenix haven’t experienced in quite some time.

Featured image credit: Photomac 

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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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