Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Melbourne Heart: Ifill breaks Melbourne's hearts

Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Melbourne Heart


Wellington Phoenix moved up a place to 7th on the A-League ladder with this 2-0 win over 5th-placed Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium in Wellington this evening.

Phoenix are now level on 18 points with 6th-ranked Melbourne Victory, but Victory have a better goal-difference.

Heart captain Matt Thompson had a nightmare game. He almost gave away two goals and was sent off 20 minutes from the end after collecting a second yellow card.

In the 18th minute, Thompson inexplicably pushed the ball straight into the path of Paul Ifill, who would have scored but for an excellent save by Clint Bolton.

In the 33rd minute, indecision between Thompson and Bolton almost cost Heart a goal when Ben Sigmund’s right-wing cross was missed by Aziz Behich, but Daniel blazed wide.

Vince Lia had almost opened the scoring for the home side as early as the 7th minute, but his shot just cleared the bar.

Heart hit back three minutes later when a cross from Josip Skoko was punched by Mark Paston straight to Wayne Srhoj, whose shot was high and wide.

There are Brazilians and there are Brazilians. Alex Terra did not conform to the usual image one has of his skilful and goalscoring countrymen. In the 37th minute, he was put through be a precise pass from Adrian Zahra, only to shoot over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

Paston improved after the break and, in the 56th minute, he produced a magnificent save to deny Terra, who should have scored when played through the middle by Gerald Sibon.

Three minutes later, Sibon should have scored when put clear by Skoko, but his attempted volley was deflected by Paston. The ball fell wide to Terra, whose tame header was cleared on the line.

Paul Ifill netted his fifth goal of the season to put Wellington ahead in the 62nd minute after good approach work by Sigmund, Lia and Bertos.

Ifill was proving a handful for the visitors’ defence and Thompson was given his marching orders after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on the Wellington striker.

Ifill grabbed his second goal of the game in the 73rd minute after the Heart gave the ball away in midfield. Wellington immediately attacked and Ifill collected a pass from Tim Brown and cut in from the right before beating Bolton with a shot from 16 metres that went through a defender’s legs.

Eleven minutes from the end, Ifill was denied a hat-trick when he beat Michael Marrone, only to see his shot saved by Bolton.


Wellington Phoenix: Paston - North, Sigmund, Durante, Hearfield - Brown, Muscat, Lia - Bertos (Rojas 90+2), Ifill (Greenacre 90+2), Daniel (Ward 72) (Sub not used: Vukovic)

Booked: Daniel, Sigmund

Goals: Ifill 62, 73

Melbourne Heart: Bolton - Marrone, Thompson, Beauchamp, Behich - Skoko (Kalmar 75), Sibon (Taseski 76), Srhoj - Zahra, Terra (Hamill 76), Hoffman (Sub not used: Zois)

Booked: Thompson

Send-off: Thompson

Att: 4,700

Ref: G Gillette

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