Wanderers win 2-1, extend A-League lead

March 10, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Western Sydney extended their lead atop the A-League ladder on Sunday, beating Wellington 2-1 at Parramatta Stadium to post a record-breaking ninth consecutive victory.

Japanese star Shinji Ono and striker Mark Bridge both scored from penalties for the Wanderers, with Jeremy Brockie getting one back for the visitors.

The win puts the Wanderers five points clear of Central Coast on the table and means they surpass the league's all-time longest winning streak of eight straight matches set by Melbourne Victory in the inaugural season.

But it was hardly the thumping most were expecting as the bottom-placed Phoenix managed to match it with the ladder-leaders for most of the game.

With history on the line the Wanderers came out on the attack and didn't have to wait long to get on the scoresheet.

Wellington defender Tony Lochhead conceded a penalty six minutes in for tripping Youssouf Hersi in the box.

Ono stepped up to the mark and made no mistake, putting the hosts in front in the eighth minute to send the majority of the 15,8009 fans into raptures.

Brockie found the equaliser in the 22nd minute getting on the end of a Leo Bertos cross, scoring his 15th goal of the season to join Central Coast's Daniel McBreen at the top of the goalscorers' list.

Just when it looked like the Phoenix had the momentum, they shot themselves in the foot right after the break by giving away another penalty courtesy of a blatant handball by Vince Lia.

This time Bridge took the spot-kick to give the Wanderers a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Labinot Haliti both threatened with strikes moments later while the Phoenix's new young striker Corey Gameiro and Paul Ifill tested 'keeper Ante Covic at the other end.

Hersi had a chance to widen the gap in the 80th minute but Phoenix gloveman Glen Moss did well to save the effort.

Lia looked like levelling in the dying minutes, forcing a save from Covic.