Wellington receives captain's acclaim

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante praised his side's character after it fought back from an early goal down to take all three points against Perth Glory in their Hyundai A-League match on Sunday.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante praised his side's character after it fought back from an early goal down to take all three points against Perth Glory in their Hyundai A-League match on Sunday.

When Victor Sikora rifled the ball past Mark Paston after dispossessing Michael Ferrante in the fourth minute, the Phoenix looked like they might pay the price for some sloppy defending for the second week in a row.

But a well-taken header by Paul Ifill 20 minutes later got them back on level terms before Leo Bertos' stunning free-kick with five minutes to go handed the New Zealand outfit a valuable home victory.

"We spoke about getting off to a good start and we could have fallen into a real heap and thought 'oh we've given an early goal away'," admitted Durante.

"But we responded well and got ourselves back in the game. They had a couple of chances off the crossbar but, aside from that, I think we dominated most of the play."

With away matches against Brisbane and Sydney to follow, the win at Westpac Stadium was a vital one for the Phoenix after slipping up against the Newcastle Jets in the opening round.

"It was a very important game, especially at home. Losing last week the boys were gutted and if we didn't get the three points here more pressure builds and the more pressure builds then our game changes and we don't want to change our game," explained Durante.

"We want to keep playing with the ball and we want to play through the midfield and sometimes we do cough it up a little bit. It just shows the quality of the team and the confidence and this win is just going to hopefully kick-start our season."

Opposite number David Mitchell felt his injury-hit side - on the road for the second match in succession - had deserved at least a point from the game, particularly after dominating much of the second half before Bertos' thunderbolt effort from 35 metres.

He also had to contend with the departure of Chris Coyne and goal scorer Sikora with injury before 30 minutes was up.

"I thought we played very well and were probably unfortunate to come away with a loss after the way we played."

"We scored a good goal and did very well and played some good football. We had a couple of boys who got knocks and injuries and had to change which disrupted us for about 10-15 minutes."

"But after that they settled down and, particularly the second half, I thought we played some good stuff and created many chances and probably should have stuffed a couple away."

Striker Mile Sterjovski, who hit the woodwork and saw several other efforts go just wide, lamented the side's profligacy.

"We have to be deadly in front of goal. It's not good just creating chances we've got to put them away. We had five or six really good chances and if we'd put a few of those away it would have been a different game."