Rudan's dream start as Phoenix open with win over Jets

Mark Rudan has made a winning start to his Hyundai A-League career with Wellington Phoenix after his side saw off Newcastle Jets 2-1 at Westpac Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In a match where both sides created a few excellent scoring chances, it was an own goal by Jets defender Daniel Georgievski on 32 minutes and a late Roy Krishna strike that proved the difference, despite Dimitri Petratos' stoppage-time goal for the Jets.

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The impressive Sarpreet Singh swung a free-kick which Steven Taylor headed back across goal, with Georgievski’s attempted clearance skimming off his head and past the gloves of Glen Moss into the net to give the home side the lead.

The goal came in a first-half where the Jets had the better chances, with Jair, Dimitri Petratos and Matthew Ridenton all going close before the Phoenix opener.

But under Rudan, Wellington already look to have more of a steely resolve and absorbed the pressure before taking their chance.

And they thought they had a second just after the hour mark when Singh bundled the ball over from close range after David Williams’ initial shot pin-balled around the area.

 

The goal was initially given only for it to be ruled out with the intervention of the VAR for a handball by Singh in the build-up.

But the VAR went Phoenix’s way three minutes from time when Jets substitute Kaine Sheppard was adjudged to have hauled down Mitch Nichols in the box, with the referee awarding a penalty.

Krishna’s initial attempt was saved but the Fijian stayed alive to sweep home the rebound to get Wellington’s 2018/19 Season off to a perfect start, despite Petratos scoring in the final minute of stoppage-time to make the scoreline a little closer.

Nigel Boogaard
Nigel Boogaard on the ball against Wellington.