Rudan frustrated but can’t fault players’ efforts as Nix succumb to Sky Blues

Wellington Phoenix manager Mark Rudan says his side’s 1-0 loss to Sydney FC on Saturday could have gone either way as a lone penalty converted by Adam Le Fondre separated the two teams.

Playing a home game at the peculiar location of Campbelltown Stadium, the Nix took on Sydney in a tense battle but it was wily veteran Alex Brosque who ultimately proved crucial for the Sky Blues.

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The 35-year old entered the field of play in the 62nd minute and immediately won the all-deciding penalty.

Rudan said the Sky Blues’ superior attack proved the difference at the end of the day.

“It was quite frustrating if you look at the way the game panned out, to be fair it could have gone either way,” Rudan said post-match.

“Both teams had chances and half chances but I guess that little bit of extra quality in the final third…I think that wasn’t there [for us].

“As soon as Brosquey comes on he affects the game, he did last week against the Mariners, he comes on and affects it again but like I said I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to stop that ball that went across, he had time and space to turn and face forward and put a ball through our defence.”

The Nix were unable to find a way past Sydney’s defence, thanks in no small part to goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who showed a safe pair of hands as Wellington bombed forward late on.

Rudan admitted he couldn’t fault the players despite their failure to score.

“It wasn’t through a lack of trying, the boys are staying disciplined, they’re believing in themselves,” he said.

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“We’re playing some good stuff again and when it’s a tight game like that it takes a bit of quality to break the deadlock.

“A bit of desperate defending by them [Sydney], I’ll give them some credit to because they threw their bodies on the line quite often as well.”

Sky Blues boss Steve Corica meanwhile was pleased with his side’s resilience under pressure after a loss and draw against the lowly Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners respectively.

“We played well in Brisbane, we played well last week against Central Coast and I thought we were excellent first half,” Corica said.

“[We] dominated, had three or four very good chances but it was a similar story to Central Coast, we didn’t take them but we’re pleased to get the win. I thought we defended well in the second half when we had to.

“They were good as well in the second half, they put us under pressure but we defended well and we got the three points and a clean sheet which is important.”

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