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22 Feb 2018 10:08
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Soccer

    Sydney FC stave off Phoenix in A-League

    Wellington twice came from behind but Sydney FC held firm to close out a 3-2 A-League victory at Allianz Stadium.

    Sydney FC's 3-2 A-League victory over Wellington may have come at a hefty price, with star Polish winger Adrian Mierzejewski in serious doubt for next weekend's Sydney derby after sustaining a second-half hamstring injury.

    Wellington's Serbian frontman Andrija Kaluderovic and Dario Vidosic each scored to threaten a boilover at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

    But it wasn't quite enough against the defending champions, as left-back Michael Zullo complemented Bobo's double with his first goal in nearly a decade to secure the win.

    Sydney coach Graham Arnold was proud of his side's third win in a week but was less impressed with the defensive display.

    "With the ball we were good with the ball, we should have buried it before halftime ," Arnold said.

    "But we got stretched too much and we kept them in the game."

    Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic said his team showed admirable grit and determination.

    "I'm happy with how they fight tonight ... from first to last minute," he said.

    "It's not easy against the champions who conceded 12 goals all last season."

    A nondescript opening half hour bore few chances before Milos Ninkovic laid off to Alex Brosque, the skipper feeding a cutting pass for Bobo to ram home.

    Six minutes later and Sydney had another, as Mierzejewski crossed for Zullo to cannon into the corner - his first A-League goal since 2008 when he was in Brisbane Roar colours.

    Kaluderovic stole the attention with a neat halftime finish to pull the score back to 2-1.

    After the break, Bobo cushioned Luke Wilkshire's inch-perfect cross to head home Sydney's third.

    Arnold's cheer was soon replaced with concern as Mierzejewski pulled up and clutched at his hamstring not long into the second half.

    Sydney's chance to overtake ladder-leaders Melbourne City was controversially thwarted when an on-rushing David Carney was ruled offside despite the ball rebounding off a Phoenix player.

    And even after the combustible Matt Simon emerged from the bench and swung his boot through several half-chances, Sydney sit second after two rounds.

    Wellington face Melbourne City next week at AAMI Park.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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