Phoenix stay in top six

Wellington Phoenix have won for the first time ever at Hindmarsh Stadium and virtually secured a Hyundai A-League finals berth thanks to a 1-0 triumph against Adelaide United on Saturday night.

Wellington Phoenix have won for the first time ever at Hindmarsh Stadium and virtually secured a Hyundai A-League finals berth thanks to a 1-0 triumph against Adelaide United on Saturday night.

Chris Greenacre's 35th minute header saw the Phoenix move four points clear of the seventh-placed Melbourne Heart and seven of eighth-placed Sydney FC, with the Wellington club still to play two fixtures.

Adelaide boss Rini Coolen made three changes to his side, including Dario Bodrusic, Paul Reid and Iain Ramsay in place of an injured Robert Cornthwaite, Adam Hughes and Matthew Leckie.

Ricki Herbert also made changes to his side, with Greenacre and Jade North, making his first appearance since Asian Cup duties, used in favour of the suspended Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat.

The match made a frenetic start with Travis Dodd almost opening the scoring inside the first 15 seconds, but the Adelaide United captain saw his shot flash just wide.

Wellington had a brilliant chance of their own in the first two minutes when Dylan McAllister's shot from a tight angle crept through the legs of Eugene Galekovic, but thankfully for the hosts, the ball was cleared off the line.

Both sides continued to press and Dodd had another chance which he hit wide after a neat passing move that involved Paul Reid and Sergio van Dijk, and the A-League's top goal-scorer was involved again when he shot straight at Vukovic from outside the box moments later.

Marco Rojas was proving one of Wellington's main threats and the 19-year-old displayed his obvious talent when he turned Francisco Usucar to create space before firing just over from 25 yards.

Both sides lost a player to injury before the half-hour mark, with Adelaide's Cassio and Wellington's Vince Lia leaving the pitch due to quad and hamstring injuries respectively.

Cassio's injury caused a defensive re-shuffle with debutant Dario Bodrusic forced into left-back and Adelaide new-boy did not look comfortable dealing with Rojas, who got down the right before hitting an inch-perfect cross that provided the game's opening goal.

Rojas' early ball curled around the defence and Wellington striker Chris Greenacre met the ball with a diving header from six yards that thudded into the back of the net and left Galekovic stranded.

Adelaide were keen to respond and went close when van Dijk turned Ramsay's cross over the bar from inside the six-yard box, but Rojas nearly provided a second goal for the visitors after he beat Bodrusic on the by-line and centred for Greenacre, only to see the striker's tame effort hit straight at Galekovic.

Van Dijk sent a free-kick just over the top of the goal while Vukovic was required to come off his line to deny Reid and keep Wellington in front at the break.

Neat defending from Andrew Durante denied van Dijk a chance to head Ramsay's cross in just after half-time while Nick Ward forced a decent save from Galekovic with his strike from distance.

A short corner nearly led to Usucar's first A-League goal but he narrowly short over while Tim Brown also stung the hands of Galekovic with a shot from 30 yards.

Adelaide should have snared an equaliser after 67 minutes, only for a crucial Jade North intervention.

A superb Marcos Flores ball broke for Dodd down the right and he beat Vukovic, who had charged off his line, with his shot. But Dodd didn't count for North who desperately turned the ball onto the crossbar before it was cleared to safety.

Adam Hughes, who replaced Bodrusic at half-time, made a superb tackle to deny McAllister while Van Dijk went close twice in the last 10 minutes, shooting wide before moments later firing across the face of goal.

But it was not enough as Wellington held for a memorable victory that virtually assures them of a second successive finals appearance.