Yeboah with priceless goal as Wanderers sink Phoenix to boost finals hopes

Western Sydney Wanderers have kept their Hyundai A-League Finals Series hopes alive with a priceless 1-0 win over a 10-man Wellington Phoenix on Friday night.

Kwame Yeboah was the match-winner for the Wanderers, heading in an inch-perfect cross 17 minutes from time to clinch a crucial result for the home side.

The decisive goal came just eight minutes after Phoenix were reduced to 10 men after Luke DeVere was sent off for receiving two yellow cards, the second of which was a foul on the Wanderers hero.

Yeboah was a first-half substitute after playmaker Nicolai Muller had to be stretchered off after he was involved in a sickening head clash with Wellington’s Louis Fenton.

Muller was badly concussed and the match was delayed for almost seven minutes as the German received attention.

But that was the low point on a big night for the Wanderers, who have given themselves a great chance to sneak into the top six.

Jean-Paul de Marigny’s men have moved up to eighth spot, four points behind sixth-place Adelaide United but they have a game in hand.

While Wellington’s finals berth is already assured, their quest to finish in the top two has taken a hit with that result, giving Melbourne City the chance to consolidate second position when they take on Sydney FC on Saturday.

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Key moments

Phoenix denied by the post…twice!

How did that stay out?

That’s exactly what the Phoenix will be thinking after David Ball cut inside from the right and hit a curling effort at goal.

The strike had Tristan Prendergast beaten but it hit the inside of the post, bounced across the goal line and hit the other post before the Wanderers were able to clear.

WATCH: Ball terribly unlucky not to open the scoring

Muller hurt in sickening collision

There was a scary moment on 20 minutes when Wanderers playmaker Nicolai Muller was involved in a heavy collision with Phoenix defender Louis Fenton.

Medical staff sprinted onto the pitch to treat Muller who hit the ground hard and was heavily concussed.

Play was halted for almost seven minutes before the German was stretchered from the field and replaced by Kwame Yeboah.

Players from both sides rush to Nicolai Muller's aid after his heavy collision with Louis Fenton
Players from both sides rush to Nicolai Muller's aid after his heavy collision with Louis Fenton

Duke goes close for Wanderers

It took until first-half stoppage time for the Wanderers to produce their best moment, and unsurprisingly skipper Mitch Duke was heavily involved.

Making his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance, Duke swooped on a mistimed Luke DeVere clearance from Simon Cox’s cutback.

Duke did well to control the ball then fire off a shot at goal by Stefan Marinovic was able to make the save and keep scores level at the break.

WATCH: Duke tests out Marinovic's reflexes

DeVere is off after second yellow

Having received a yellow card just a few minutes earlier for a foul on Duke, DeVere was sent for an early shower on 65 minutes for a second caution.

This time he tugged down Kwame Yeboah as the attacker tried to race onto Pirmin Schwegler’s through ball, giving referee Kurt Ams no choice but to produce a second yellow for DeVere.

Luke DeVere
Luke DeVere gets his marching orders

Yeboah breaks the deadlock

It didn’t take the Wanderers long to make their numerical advantage count as Yeboah pounced out of almost nothing.

Schwegler’s ball to the right picked out Tate Russell and the youngster did well to get the ball out of his feet and swing in a cross.

And the ball in was perfectly placed to pick out an unmarked Yeboah, who did superbly to divert his header inside the far post, giving Marinovic no chance.

WATCH: Classy header gives Wanderers the lead

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Next match

  • Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory

When: Tuesday, August 4
Where: Bankwest Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)

Match Centre

  • Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar

When: Wednesday, August 5
Where: Bankwest Stadium
Kick-off: 6pm (AEST)

Match Centre

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