A dramatic week of A-League action has seen the Western Sydney Wanderers go down 1-0 to the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington, while Sydney FC battled to a brave scoreless draw against the Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium.
It was the first trip across the Tasman for the Wanderers, who found themselves struggling early against the famous Wellington wind.
The Phoenix had the better of the opening salvo, with Jeremy Brockie very nearly pushing them out to an early lead after breaking through the West Sydney defensive line only to be stopped by goalkeeper Ante Covic.
The Wanderers will feel a little bit hard done by not to have opened the scoring in the 14th minute, after a definite chance on goal was halted by a clear handball from Wellington captain Andrew Durante which went unpunished.
In the end it was the weather that got the better of West Sydney, as an attempted cross from Brockie in the 21st minute took on a life of its own, angling back sharply to breeze past Covic and give the Phoenix the early advantage.
Covic, to his credit, played very well to keep out repeated attempts from the Pheonix, while the Wanderers seemed unable to find much momentum in difficult conditions.
A late chance in the first minute of injury time would have given the home crowd a bit of a scare, but in the end the scoreline remained 1-0 and the Phoenix secured their third win of the season.
Meanwhile the Wanderers are still struggling near the bottom of the table. While they have also secured three victories in 2012, the five losses registered this year have cost them serious ground in the A-League soccer tournament.
Unfortunately the Sky Blues are having an even rougher time of it, with a record of 2-1-6 this season. They registered their first and only draw so far against Melbourne on Sunday (November 2), in a match devoid of star power as both teams were missing several of their Socceroo representatives.
After the whistle, man of the match, Sydney FC midfielder Rhyan Grant, noted that it was a good result to have kept a "clean sheet" and expressed hope that the team would be able to build on their performance moving forward.
"We've conceded a fair few goals this season so to keep it tight in the back is good for us and like I said, just [got to] build on it next week and finish some chances off," said Grant.
If all this exciting soccer action has inspired you to have a bit of a kick around yourself, why not come down to Strathfield Sports Club Sydney and get involved in the beautiful game?
We offer soccer training and football membership for players of all age and ability, and we promise you will have the time of your life with some of the friendliest people in town!
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