Wellington Phoenix fire Sydney FC out of Pre-Season Cup

Sydney FC has missed out on its chance to qualify for the Pre-Season Cup decider, going down 3-2 against the Wellington Phoenix in a fiery encounter at WIN Stadium.

Sydney FC has missed out on its chance to qualify for the Pre-Season Cup decider, going down 3-2 against the Wellington Phoenix in a fiery encounter at WIN Stadium.

After Sydney dominated the first half of the round three encounter, Wellington scored three unanswered second half goals to set up a clash with Melbourne Victory in next week’s Cup final.

The first chance of the game fell to Sydney FC’s Dez Giraldi who put a good chance well over the bar.

Soon after Giraldi was slow to his feet as he went down in the box, with calls for a penalty going unheard.

Sydney FC continued to move the ball forward and was rewarded in the 16th minute with Giraldi putting the ball through to set up Brosque’s first goal of the Pre-Season, slotting the ball low past Wellington keeper, Glen Moss.

Down early, Wellington started to push the ball further up the park, with a good opportunity falling to Cortes on the fringes of the box blocked by Timpano.

As Sydney continued to move the ball through the midfield and into the attacking third a rough challenge saw the sky blue’s awarded a freekick a couple of yards outside the box.

Mitchell Prentice guided the ball into the area, with Iain Fyfe sending a diving header into the back of the net.

Both sides struggled for chances early in the second, before half Troy Hearfield’s clinical finish in the box reduced the deficit to one goal in the 57th minute.

Growing in confidence the Phoenix continued to work the ball into attacking positions and when Adam Kwasnik was brought down by Dez Giraldi the referee pointed to the spot.

The foul also saw Giraldi pick up his second yellow card in as many matches, meaning he’ll miss FC’s next outing.

Shane Smeltz lined the spot kick up, putting it past Necevski in the 62nd minute to even the score at 2-2.

As the ball moved end to end, a midfield challenge involving Brosque saw a free kick awarded to Wellington, much to the dismay of the striker, who in turn received a yellow card for dissent, and reserved his spot on the suspension bench next game, along-side Giraldi.

Wellington’s second half dominance continued to threaten Sydney’s FC’s defence and when Jacob Timpano failed to complete a pass back to Necevski, Lei Lei Gao intercepted the ball, rounded the keeper and gave Wellington a 3-2 lead.

As Sydney began to play a more attacking brand of football, Wellington broke forward with Mitchell Prentice bringing down Andrew Durante from behind in the 90th minute.

A scuffle erupted between the two teams and Prentice was given his marching orders with a red card, and after his reaction Durante received his second yellow and also headed to the sheds.

The Phoenix held on to finish 3-2 victors and earned the right to host next week’s Pre-Season Cup final against the Melbourne Victory.

Sydney FC’s depth will next be tested when it hosts the Melbourne Victory in the opening round Hyundai A-league on August 16, with the club adding supsended stars Mitchell Prentice, Alex Brosque and Dez Giraldi to it’s extensive unavailability list.

Click here to listen to John Kosmina at the post-match press conference.

Match Details

Sydney FC 2. Iain Fyfe, 5. Mitchell Prentice, 6. Tony Popovic (c) (Ryan Walsh 46-), 7. Robbie Middleby, 10. Steve Corica, 14. Alex Brosque, 15. Terry McFlynn, 17. Jacob Timpano, 18. Adam Casey (Nikolas Tsattalios 83-), 20. Ivan Necevski (gk), 26. Dex Giraldi (Adam Biddle 83-)

Substitutes Not Used John Filan

Unavailable 1. Clint Bolton (injury), 4. Simon Colosimo (Suspension), 8. Stuart Musialik (Olyroos), 11.Brendon Santalab (injury), 19. Mark Bridge (Olyroos), 22. Mike Enfield (injury), 23. John Aloisi (injury)

Yellow Cards Giraldi 61-, Prentice 61-, Walsh 66-, Brosque 69-
Red Cards Prentice 91-
Goals Brosque 16-, Fyfe 36-

Wellington Phoenix 2. Jeremy Christie, 7. Leo Bertos, 9. Shane Smeltz (Vaughan Coveny 83-), 10. Michael Ferrante, 11. Daniel Cortes (Adam Kwasnik 60-), 12. Richard Johnson, 13. Troy Hearfield (Lei Lei Gao 73-), 18. Ben Sigmund, 20. Glen Moss (gk), 24. Andrew Durante, 25. Emmanuel Muscat.

Substitutes Not Used Mark Paston

Yellow Cards Bertos 24-, Durante 35-, Kwasnik 80-, Durante 91-
Red Cards Durante 91-
Goals Hearfield 57-, Smeltz 62- (pen), Gao 82-

Referee Strebre Delovski

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