Phoenix suffer 2-0 loss to Western Sydney

Travelling Wellington Phoenix fans celebrate during the win over Perth Glory.
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Travelling Wellington Phoenix fans celebrate during the win over Perth Glory.
Wellington Phoenix players celebrate after scoring against Perth Glory.
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Wellington Phoenix players celebrate after scoring against Perth Glory.
Leo Bertos (left) competes for the ball with Joshua Risdon of Perth Glory.
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Leo Bertos (left) competes for the ball with Joshua Risdon of Perth Glory.
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix competes for the ball against Labinot Haliti of the Wanderers.
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Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix competes for the ball against Labinot Haliti of the Wanderers.
Adam D'Apuzzo of the Wanderers competes for the ball against Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix.
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Adam D'Apuzzo of the Wanderers competes for the ball against Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix.
 Jeremy Brockie (L) and Corey Gameiro (C) of the Phoenix celebrate after Brockie scored a goal.
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Jeremy Brockie (L) and Corey Gameiro (C) of the Phoenix celebrate after Brockie scored a goal.
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Western Sydney.
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Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Western Sydney.
Phoenix fans show their support for former coach Ricki Herbert.
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Phoenix fans show their support for former coach Ricki Herbert.
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix shows his disappointment after a missed shot at goal.
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Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix shows his disappointment after a missed shot at goal.
Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix tackles Ruben Zadkovich of the Jets.
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Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix tackles Ruben Zadkovich of the Jets.
Ben Sigmund has words with the referee after the Phoenix's loss to Adelaide.
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Ben Sigmund has words with the referee after the Phoenix's loss to Adelaide.
Sam Gallaway of the Jets and Paul Ifill of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
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Sam Gallaway of the Jets and Paul Ifill of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Corey Gameiro, left, and Jeremy Brockie celebrate Brockie's goal.
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Corey Gameiro, left, and Jeremy Brockie celebrate Brockie's goal.
Leo Bertos runs with the ball.
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Leo Bertos runs with the ball.
Antony Golec of Adelaide runs with the ball.
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Antony Golec of Adelaide runs with the ball.
Wellington’s Jeremy Brockie, left, and Antony Golec jump for the ball.
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Wellington’s Jeremy Brockie, left, and Antony Golec jump for the ball.
Louis Fenton goes up for a header against Central Coast Mariners.
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Louis Fenton goes up for a header against Central Coast Mariners.
Bernie Ibini (left) and Daniel McBreen celebrate a goal for Central Coast Mariners.
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Bernie Ibini (left) and Daniel McBreen celebrate a goal for Central Coast Mariners.
Bernie Ibini takes on the Phoenix's Ian Hogg.
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Bernie Ibini takes on the Phoenix's Ian Hogg.
Phoenix players celebrate Jeremy Brockie's goal against the Perth Glory.
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Phoenix players celebrate Jeremy Brockie's goal against the Perth Glory.
Phoenix fans show their support at Eden Park.
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Phoenix fans show their support at Eden Park.
Isaka Cernak heads the ball from Perth's Liam Miller in the Phoenix's 1-0 win.
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Isaka Cernak heads the ball from Perth's Liam Miller in the Phoenix's 1-0 win.
Phoenix's Stein Huysegems and Perth's Steven McGarry contest the ball.
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Phoenix's Stein Huysegems and Perth's Steven McGarry contest the ball.
Tyler Boyd and Jets' Jobe Wheelhouse compete for the ball during the 1-1 draw.
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Tyler Boyd and Jets' Jobe Wheelhouse compete for the ball during the 1-1 draw.
Andrew Durante gets in the way of Jets player Ryan Griffiths.
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Andrew Durante gets in the way of Jets player Ryan Griffiths.
Manny Muscat and Jets' Joshua Brillante compete for the ball.
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Manny Muscat and Jets' Joshua Brillante compete for the ball.
Louis Fenton celebrates his goal against the Jets with Daniel Sanchez.
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Louis Fenton celebrates his goal against the Jets with Daniel Sanchez.
Fabio and Tyler Boyd compete for the ball during the Phoenix's 7-1 loss to Sydney FC.
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Fabio and Tyler Boyd compete for the ball during the Phoenix's 7-1 loss to Sydney FC.
Andrew Durante reacts to conceding a penalty against Sydney FC.
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Andrew Durante reacts to conceding a penalty against Sydney FC.
Leo Bertos of the Phoenix reacts to a Sydney goal during the round 17.
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Leo Bertos of the Phoenix reacts to a Sydney goal during the round 17.
Alessandro Del Piero celebrates one of his four goals against the Phoenix.
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Alessandro Del Piero celebrates one of his four goals against the Phoenix.
Alessandro Del Piero and Vince Lia compete for the ball.
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Alessandro Del Piero and Vince Lia compete for the ball.
Stein Huysegems misses a goal against Western Sydney.
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Stein Huysegems misses a goal against Western Sydney.
Louis Fenton playing against Western Sydney.
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Louis Fenton playing against Western Sydney.
Daniel Sanchez attempts to make a break agaisnt Western Sydney.
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Daniel Sanchez attempts to make a break agaisnt Western Sydney.
Jeremy Brockie with the ball agaisnt Western Sydney.
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Jeremy Brockie with the ball agaisnt Western Sydney.
Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix talks to the referee who gave teamate Louis Fenton a yellow card for faking a dive.
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Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix talks to the referee who gave teamate Louis Fenton a yellow card for faking a dive.
Billy Celeski of the Victory and Daniel Sanchez of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
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Billy Celeski of the Victory and Daniel Sanchez of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Nick Ansell of the Melbourne Victory jumps on Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix.
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Nick Ansell of the Melbourne Victory jumps on Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix.
Louis Fenton is held back by Josh Rose of the Mariners.
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Louis Fenton is held back by Josh Rose of the Mariners.
Dani Sanchez is congratulated by teammates Andrew Durante and Alexander Smith after scoring the equaliser against the Mariners.
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Dani Sanchez is congratulated by teammates Andrew Durante and Alexander Smith after scoring the equaliser against the Mariners.
Jeremy Brockie takes a tumble during the match against Central Coast Mariners.
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Jeremy Brockie takes a tumble during the match against Central Coast Mariners.
Ben Sigmund gets up in the air to challenge for the ball during the 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
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Ben Sigmund gets up in the air to challenge for the ball during the 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
Tyler Boyd in action for the Phoenix in their 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
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Tyler Boyd in action for the Phoenix in their 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
Paul Ifill of Phoneix is challenged by Fabio Ferreira of Adelaide during the match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
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Paul Ifill of Phoneix is challenged by Fabio Ferreira of Adelaide during the match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
Manny Muscat challenges Cassio of Adelaide.
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Manny Muscat challenges Cassio of Adelaide.
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix goes for a header under pressure from Osama Malik of Adelaide.
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Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix goes for a header under pressure from Osama Malik of Adelaide.
Louis Fenton of Pheonix and Osama Malik of Adeleide contest for the ball.
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Louis Fenton of Pheonix and Osama Malik of Adeleide contest for the ball.
Bruce Djite of Adelaide is challenged by Andrew Durante of Phoenix during the round 11 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
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Bruce Djite of Adelaide is challenged by Andrew Durante of Phoenix during the round 11 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
Sydney FC celebrate scoring against the Phoenix.
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Sydney FC celebrate scoring against the Phoenix.
Phoenix fans show their support during the game against Sydney.
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Phoenix fans show their support during the game against Sydney.
Alex Smith on the ball for the Phoenix.
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Alex Smith on the ball for the Phoenix.
Terry McFlynn (left) of Sydney fights for possession with Ben Sigmund (centre) and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
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Terry McFlynn (left) of Sydney fights for possession with Ben Sigmund (centre) and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
Paul Ifill of the Phoenix and Jerome Polenz of the Wanderers go for the ball.
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Paul Ifill of the Phoenix and Jerome Polenz of the Wanderers go for the ball.
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix in action.
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Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix in action.
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix scores.
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Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix scores.
Louis Fenton of the Phoenix and Nikolai Topor-Stanley of the Wanderers in action.
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Louis Fenton of the Phoenix and Nikolai Topor-Stanley of the Wanderers in action.
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix in action.
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Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix in action.
 Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action.
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Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action.
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring against Western Sydney.
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Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring against Western Sydney.
Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action with Dino Kresinger of the Wanderers.
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Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action with Dino Kresinger of the Wanderers.
Shane Smeltz of the Glory and Andrew Durante of Wellington contest possession.
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Shane Smeltz of the Glory and Andrew Durante of Wellington contest possession.
Jacob Burns of the Glory tackles Louis Fenton of Wellington.
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Jacob Burns of the Glory tackles Louis Fenton of Wellington.
Paul Ifill of Wellington in action against the Perth Glory.
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Paul Ifill of Wellington in action against the Perth Glory.
Ben Sigmund of Wellington and Chris Harold of Perth contest possession.
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Ben Sigmund of Wellington and Chris Harold of Perth contest possession.
Emile Heskey of the Jets and Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix contest the ball.
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Emile Heskey of the Jets and Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix contest the ball.
Ryan Griffiths of the Jets and Andrew Durante of the Phoenix fight for control.
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Ryan Griffiths of the Jets and Andrew Durante of the Phoenix fight for control.
Benjamin Totori of the Phoenix.
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Benjamin Totori of the Phoenix.
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix in action.
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Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix in action.
Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix and Scott Neville of the Jets go after the high ball.
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Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix and Scott Neville of the Jets go after the high ball.
A stoush during the second half when Manny Muscat of Wellington was handed a yellow card.
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A stoush during the second half when Manny Muscat of Wellington was handed a yellow card.
Louis Fenton of Wellignton takes a tumble.
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Louis Fenton of Wellignton takes a tumble.
Paul Ifill of Wellington tackles Central Coast's Tomas Rogic.
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Paul Ifill of Wellington tackles Central Coast's Tomas Rogic.
Wellington Phoenix's Alex Smith goes for a header.
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Wellington Phoenix's Alex Smith goes for a header.
Wellington Phoenix's Tyler Boyd and Central Coast Mariners' Joshua Rose.
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Wellington Phoenix's Tyler Boyd and Central Coast Mariners' Joshua Rose.
Adama Traore of the Victory and Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix contest for the ball.
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Adama Traore of the Victory and Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix contest for the ball.
Jonathan Bru of the Victory contests with Vince Lia and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
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Jonathan Bru of the Victory contests with Vince Lia and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
Jeremy Brockie is tackled by Diogo Ferreira during the Phoenix's loss to the Victory.
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Jeremy Brockie is tackled by Diogo Ferreira during the Phoenix's loss to the Victory.
Paul Ifill battles for possession with Diogo Ferreira of the Melbourne Victory.
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Paul Ifill battles for possession with Diogo Ferreira of the Melbourne Victory.
Ben Sigmund of Wellington gets away from Jeronimo Neumann of Adelaide.
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Ben Sigmund of Wellington gets away from Jeronimo Neumann of Adelaide.
Leo Bertos (L) of Wellington competes with Iain Ramsay of Adelaide.
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Leo Bertos (L) of Wellington competes with Iain Ramsay of Adelaide.
Louis Fenton of Wellington competes with Cassio of Adelaide.
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Louis Fenton of Wellington competes with Cassio of Adelaide.
Wellington Pheonix mascot Nixie entertains the crowd before the Brisbane Roar game.
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Wellington Pheonix mascot Nixie entertains the crowd before the Brisbane Roar game.
Steyn Huysegems celebrates scoring the opening goal for the Phoenix against Brisbane Roar.
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Steyn Huysegems celebrates scoring the opening goal for the Phoenix against Brisbane Roar.
Mitch Nichols (left) and Manny Muscat compete for the ball.
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Mitch Nichols (left) and Manny Muscat compete for the ball.
Paul Ifill tussles with Mitch Nichols of the Brisbane Roar.
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Paul Ifill tussles with Mitch Nichols of the Brisbane Roar.
Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton takes the ball during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
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Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton takes the ball during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
 Phoenix goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley kicks the ball back into play during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
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Phoenix goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley kicks the ball back into play during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
Paul Ifill of the Phoenix celebrates with his teammates after he converted a penalty.
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Paul Ifill of the Phoenix celebrates with his teammates after he converted a penalty.
Manny Muscat of the Phoenix challenges Mate Dugandzic of the Heart.
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Manny Muscat of the Phoenix challenges Mate Dugandzic of the Heart.
Wellington Phoenix's Stein Huysegems celebrates after scoring a goal.
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Wellington Phoenix's Stein Huysegems celebrates after scoring a goal.
Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
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Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
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Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
 Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix headers the ball past Adam Griffiths of Sydney.
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Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix headers the ball past Adam Griffiths of Sydney.
Terry Antonis of Sydney FC and Louis Fenton of the Phoenix compete fort he ball.
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Terry Antonis of Sydney FC and Louis Fenton of the Phoenix compete fort he ball.

The Wellington Phoenix's finals hopes took another hit tonight as they slumped to a third straight A-League loss, 2-0, against Western Sydney.

The Phoenix actually dominated the first half but were made to pay for two costly defensive errors in the second half at Westpac Stadium.

Hirsute centre back Nikolai Topor-Stanley was an unlikely goal-scorer with a 72nd minute header before striker Labinot Haliti capitalised on a Phoenix howler 10 minutes later to seal all three points.

The game followed a similar pattern to the previous loss against Melbourne Victory as the ninth-placed Phoenix played nice football in the first half but failed to get any reward.

The Wanderers were lethargic in the first half but coach Tony Popovic made a good tactical adjustment at the break.

Suddenly the visitors pressed high defensively and the Phoenix back four - still learning how to play the ball out - began to make some errors.

First, the Phoenix were again punished for not marking tightly enough.

Topor-Stanley got in front of Ben Sigmund to meet an Aaron Mooy cross with an excellent, low header.

If the crowd of 6608 were stung by that, they were dismayed by the Wanderers' second.

Mark Bridge sent in a cross from the left wing which should have been dealt with easily but Sigmund and Mark Paston made a meal of it.

Sigmund held off dealing with the danger as he expected his goalkeeper to collect the ball but it never happened.

Instead, Haliti nipped in for an easy tap-in as the impressive competition rookies tightened their hold on fourth place.

The Phoenix will now finish round 16 in last place if Sydney FC beat Melbourne Heart later tonight.

The Phoenix dominated a scoreless first half as they stayed true to their word in blustery conditions and kept the ball on the deck at all costs.

Ante Covic was by far the busier of the two keepers and he had his crossbar to thank for stopping a Stein Huysegems thunderbolt in the 23rd minute.

Huysegems was much more involved than he has been in recent matches as he tucked in behind striker Jeremy Brockie.

The former Belgium international had two other good chances in the first half but one was snuffed out by Covic and he put a header wide.

Louis Fenton, Vince Lia and Dani Sanchez, playing effectively as a deep-lying playmaker, were others to test the reflexes of Covic, who had been flummoxed by the wind in his last visit to Wellington.

The Wanderers surprisingly started with marquee man Shinji Ono on the bench, and they only really tested the Phoenix on the counter in the first half - aside from a shaky Sigmund back pass.

Next up for the Phoenix is a visit to Sydney on Saturday in what will be a real dance of the desperates.

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