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2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Daniel Wilmering (23')
  • Jordon Mutch (52')
  • Mitch Duke (66')
  • Kwame Yeboah (84')
  • Ulises Dávila (7')
  • Cameron Devlin (32')
  • Tomer Hemed (64' PEN)

Western Sydney edge past Wellington Phoenix in seven-goal thriller

Western Sydney scored three second-half goals as the Wanderers edged a fiendishly unlucky Wellington Phoenix in an A-League classic at Bankwest Stadium.

Kwame Yeboah's curling 84th minute strike proved the ultimate difference in the 4-3 result, but there was so much more to one of the matches of the season.

On a night that marked the second anniversary of the Christchurch Mosque shooting in New Zealand and a year since the Phoenix last had a home match, there was plenty for the visitors to play for.

Not that the scorer of the night's best goal, Cameron Devlin, was even supposed to be playing.

It took a hip flexor injury to Louis Fenton 20 minutes before kick-off for the midfielder to earn a start in a re-shuffled Phoenix line-up, and he took full advantage.

With the scores locked at 1-1 in the 32nd minute, he caught a blocked shot 30 yards out from goal, chesting it down and unleashing a withering strike that left Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush with next to no chance of a save.

"I cop a bit of slack at training about my shooting so I just thought 'stuff this I'll have a crack,'" he told Fox Sports.

Phoenix had started off the match in style with Ulises Davila scoring after just seven minutes following a cheeky one-two with Reno Piscopo.

It had been an unhappy opening 20 minutes for the Wanderers, who appeared to struggle with the pace of play and were consistently caught out in defence by the visitors.

But Bernie Ibini helped get them back to level-pegging, his cross from the right wing piercing two defenders to find Daniel Wilmering who ghosted in from the left side unmarked.

While Devlin's goal was unsurprisingly not topped, there wasn't much in it.

Jordon Mutch delivered one of the classier headers seen in recent times to level scores at 2-2 before Tomer Hemed's penalty after sustained Phoenix pressure handed the advantage back to Wellington.

Mitchell Duke's 65th minute volley was also a ripper before Yeboah's heroics got the home side to 4-3.

But the drama didn't end there with Hemed appearing to snatch the leveller in time added-on before the VAR ruled he was just offside after the initial long ball from Tim Payne.

It left Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay to question the application of the VAR with only Hemed's shoulder in front, but opposition manager Carl Robinson was in no doubt.

"This no grey area with offside," Robinson said. "Offside is offside."

The Wanderers move to second on the ladder while the Phoenix are yet to win a Monday night match in the history of the competition.