Phoenix rise to third in table

January 01, 2015 10:31:28 UK

Wellington defeated Adelaide even without top scorer Nathan Burns.

Wellington Phoenix continued their rise up the A-League table with a 3-1 win against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

Ernie Merrick’s side have won five and drawn one of their last six games, and their New Year’s Eve victory saw them leapfrog the Reds into third spot.

The Kiwis, who are 8.00 to win the Grand Final, made light of the absence of their two leading scorers as they gained revenge for their 2-1 defeat at the same venue in November.

With the league’s leading scorer Nathan Burns unavailable on Socceroos duty and Roy Krishna out injured, it was Tyler Boyd who stepped up with a brace in the last 13 minutes against United.

Both goals came with assistance from Adelaide, who previously had the meanest defence in the league.

Cam Watson gifted Boyd the chance to put the Phoenix ahead on 77 minutes when he attempted a pass across the back but gave the ball straight to the substitute.

Boyd had no trouble in bearing down on goal and beating keeper Paul Izzo, who was standing in for the unavailable Eugene Galekovic.

United threw caution to the wind in injury time, searching for the equaliser, and Izzo went up for a corner. With the home side gambling on being able to use the extra man in attack, they were exposed to Wellington’s counter-attack that saw Boyd run through on goal and seal the three points.

Adelaide had almost twice as many shots on goal as the Phoenix, they were only able to convert one of their chances.

That was when Awer Mabil jinked his way past the defence and squared the ball to an unmarked Sergio Cirio, who tapped into an empty net to make it 1-1.

They only had parity for four minutes, though, until Boyd put Wellington ahead for the second time.

The visitors had broken the deadlock nine minutes into the second half thanks to the persistence of Jeremy Brockie. The New Zealand international went down under challenge in the area but with no whistle forthcoming he was able, while still on the ground, to guide the ball across to where Kenny Cunningham fired home a right-footed shot.

Adelaide United are 3.00 to win their next game away to Perth Glory, who are 2.30 with the draw 3.40.

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