The improvised Wellington Phoenix was struck in Newcastle

With eight players unavailable, last night’s game at Newcastle raised the question: How good is the depth of the Wellington Phoenix? After a 4-0 defeat, the answer does not seem to be great.

It was a pose that the Phoenix was unlucky to face, with four away players with the All Whites in Qatar, three injured (including captain Alex Rufer out of season with a knee injury) and the influential striker David Ball penalized.

Wellington coach Ufuk Taley’s starting line-up had five substitutions from the team that lost 2-1 to Roar Brisbane last Saturday, with a trio on the bench who had never played in the A-League.

And in the first half, the improvised Phoenix held himself against an innocent Newcastle who managed just one shot on the crossbar. But the game changed when the hosts were six minutes ahead of the second half. Five times this season, the Phoenix were behind, and they had lost five. Five had to become six.

Newcastle gained confidence and Wellington got more and more drunk as goals followed in the 64th and 67th minutes. The game ended 2-0. At 3-0 a damage control was performed.

The match changed the path of Newcastle with its goal in the 51st minute. Goalkeeper Alex Paulsen blocked a shot by Daniel Penha in the path of Olivier Boumal, who shot from the top corner.

Wellington missed good chances on both sides of the goal: Sam Sutton turned James McGarry’s cross very wide in the first minute after the break and then Jaushua Sotirio turned his head over the crossbar from six meters. Minutes later, he was replaced by holding his hind thigh, another addition to the injury list.

George Hott and Jackson Manuel came off the bench for the last 20 minutes to make their A-League debut.

While this was an extremely weakened Phoenix team, there will be frustration with the way they collapsed in the second half.

Newcastle beat Wellington 4-0 when the two teams last met at the McDonald Jones Stadium in December, playing great football.

But that was the top sign of their season. The Jets have won just three games since then and have not scored more than two goals in a game – until last night.

They had lost their last three, including a 3-2 draw with the Phoenix at Gosford 10 days earlier – a match that is a much more accurate measure of the capabilities of these two teams.

“I thought we started the game well, the first half was very good to be honest,” said Talay.

“The second half started, I think we had a good chance with Sats [Sam Sutton] maybe before and then we conceded goals.

“Then we showed how naive we were when it was 1-0, when we were still in the game, we gave the ball and conceded the second goal from it.

“After that, I think we started to run out of legs a bit.”

That result keeps Wellington seventh out of the playoffs – the Phoenix now have the worst-ever A-League goal difference, thanks in large part to their three-point 4-0 loss to Newcastle. back to the eighth.

Talay is probably best advised to borrow a phrase from Steve Hansen – flush out the dan, welcome back the All Whites from the international squad and start over when they play Perth next weekend.

Newcastle Jets 4 (Olivier Boumal 51, 64, Beka Mikeltadze 67, Eli Babaltz 83)
Wellington Phoenix 0
HT: 0-0.

The improvised Wellington Phoenix was struck in Newcastle

Source link The improvised Wellington Phoenix was struck in Newcastle

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