Wellington Phoenix have kept their faint Hyundai A-League Finals Series hopes alive with a shock 3-0 win over a 10-man Melbourne Victory on Sunday.
In what was the 1500th match in Hyundai A-League history, Phoenix made it one to remember with a sensational performance to condemn Victory to their first loss at AAMI Park this season.
Dutch playmaker Roly Bonevacia was the hero for the visitors, scoring with two stunning long-range efforts within the first 26 minutes.
Victory improved after the break but couldn’t make the most of their pressure and then had defender Alan Baro sent off inside the last 20 minutes, before Shane Smeltz put the icing on the cake for Phoenix at the death..
The win keeps Wellington in the hunt for a spot in the top six, now just four points behind sixth-placed Perth Glory with two matches to play.
0-1 Phoenix: Roly Bonevacia 9’
The Dutchman was given too much space on the edge of the box and he let fly from 25 metres out, his piercing low shot finding the bottom corner of the net.
0-2 Phoenix: Roly Bonevacia 26’
Almost a carbon copy of his first as Bonevacia turned an unleashed another grass-burner from distance with the ball hitting both posts before crossing the line.
0-3 Phoenix: Shane Smeltz 90’
A classic counter attack saw Tom Doyle get in behind the defence and he squared it to Smeltz for a simple tap in from close range.
Victory defender Alan Baro was dismissed with 20 minutes left after he brought down Kosta Barbarouses as the Phoenix winger was bearing down on the goal.
Phoenix defender Matthew Ridenton lasted just 15 minutes before he was stretchered off with what looked like a serious knee injury following an awkward looking fall.
17,011 @ AAMI Park
Re-live the match on Twitter: