Israeli star Tomer Hemed slashed his former team as the Western Sydney Wanderers claimed their first victory of the season.
Hemed’s second-half goal opened the stalemate before John Koutroumbis added a second late as the Wanderers beat the Phoenix 2-0 at Wollongong, Wellington’s home away from home this season.
It was Hemed’s second goal in two games for his new team as the Wanderers put on an improved performance, although Wellington will wonder how they managed to lose by two goals.
Hemed put the Wanderers ahead in the 66th minute with a point blank goal. The Israel international was convinced the ball had crossed the line and confirmation of the goal came from the VAR soon after.
It was an encouraging performance from Carl Robinson, who also earned his first road victory in nine months.
Jack Rodwell made his starting debut as the Wanderers chased the win and the English import clocked in for 82 minutes in what was a solid performance.
It was 0 goal after a suspicious first half with just one shot on target from each side.
The Phoenix thought they had the opener when Josh Laws put the ball in the net at the half hour mark, only to have his goal properly ruled offside. The raised flag was a relief for Thomas Aquilina, who gave a cheap corner that led to the disallowed goal.
This triggered a bit of an emergency on both sides, with Terry Antonis coming down the other side and forcing Oliver Sail to a stop.
But the Phoenix come to shade him at the end of the first 45 minutes, especially when Reno Piscopo tested Tomas Mejias with a few close attempts.
There were positive signs from the Wanderers in the first half, with former Phoenix forward Hemed showing glimpses of his quality against his former teammates.
The game opened in the second half as chances were traded, but Wellington continued to look most likely to break the deadlock.
On the hour mark, James McGarry recovered the ball from the edge of the box and his diving volley drew an excellent save from Mejias.
It was a telling save and the Wanderers took advantage of it minutes later when Hemed put them in front, before Koutroumbis added second in the dying seconds.
ANC News Wire