Sheridan shines in battle of new recruits to spark Phoenix win
Both Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers unveiled exciting new signings in Tuesday night’s clash at ANZ Stadium.
And it was Phoenix’s Cillian Sheridan – a 195cm striker from Ireland – who emerged the clear winner to inspire his side to a thrilling and valuable 3-2 win.
Sheridan came off the bench with 25 minutes left and played a key role in both of Roy Krishna’s goals to immediately indicate he’s going to be a vital asset to Mark Rudan’s side.
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A consistent goalscorer throughout his career, the 29-year-old showed there’s plenty to his game with classy touches to set-up both goals.
Fir,st he played a perfectly weighted pass into Krishna’s path which allowed the Fijian to round keeper Vedran Janjetovic to make the score 2-1.
Then in the final minute, after the Wanderers had drawn level, Sheridan’s deft flick into the path of Max Burgess got the youngster free to cross for Krishna to snatch all three points.
In contrast, the Wanderers new man Kwame Yeboah – while showing some encouraging signs – fluffed his lines with the match there for the taking.
With scores locked at 1-1 with 10 minutes left, the 24-year-old flyer was through one-on-one with the keeper but his shot wasn’t clinical enough to beat Filip Kurto.
Less than two minutes later Sheridan had his moment and Wellington would go on to get the victory.
“Cillian when he came on was fantastic, he was flicking everything on, he set up the goal for Roy for the second one and had a role to play for the third as well,” Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante said of his new teammate on Fox Sports.
“For him to be a new face in the team [and do that] is fantastic."
And it could prove a pivotal moment in the season, especially with Phoenix now opening up a 10-point gap to the eighth-placed Wanderers.
The result also saw Wellington extend their unbeaten run to seven matches, equalling a club record for the longest stretch without a defeat.
“To come here and win the game in the dying minutes speaks volumes about where we are as a team and a football club at the moment,” Durante said.
“Seven games on the bounce without a loss and we’re just growing in confidence every day.
“We’ve won games playing well, we’ve won games playing scrappy and today to win that game, I’m so proud of the boys.”