2018/19 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Avraam Papadopoulos (35' OG)
  • David Williams (75')
  • Roy Krishna (80' PEN)
  • Sarpreet Singh (90'+3')
  • Henrique (45'+1')

Wellington Phoenix thrash Brisbane Roar to strengthen A-League credentials

Brisbane's misery escalated with a 4-1 loss to high-flying Wellington, whose A-League credentials are growing stronger by the week.

Second-half goals to David Williams, Roy Krishna and Sarpreet Singh ensured the hosts capitalised on a dominant performance on Saturday after a 1-1 half-time scoreline. With 19-year-old playmaker Singh running riot, the Phoenix bagged a third-straight win and might be as high as fourth by the end of round nine.

It's a contrast for John Aloisi's Roar, who are guaranteed to be ninth at Christmas after registering a fourth-consecutive defeat. Outplayed for long periods, the visitors couldn't complain about the result. They created few chances and were opened up with ease in the second spell, leaving Aloisi to ponder solutions to a defence that had leaked 12 goals during their losing trot.

Their performance was summed up by Adam Taggart tripping over the ball when through on goal soon after the break, one of the few times the acclaimed striker was involved.

The Phoenix dominated from that point, with skilful Singh allowed to make numerous runs at the box. He set up a scorching 75th-minute goal for substitute striker Williams, his first for the club, when his curling right-foot strike left Jamie Young with no chance.

Coach Mark Rudan said Singh was coming of age as an attacking force. "I almost got down on my hands and knees and started bowing as well. The kid is going places," he said. "He really took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. We ask him to be the man, regardless of his age, and today he responded."

Krishna scored from the penalty spot five minutes later after Tom Doyle was taken down in a rugby-style tackle from Young.

Singh had the final say early in stoppage time, beating Young at the near post with a curling free kick. Brisbane were flattered by the half-time scoreline, equalising on the stroke of the break through Henrique's rifling first-time shot. The veteran Brazilian found himself in acres of space in the centre of the box and whipped home a centred cross from Jack Hingert to register his second goal in four games.

The Phoenix had dominated until then, deservedly going head via a 35th-minute own-goal from Avraam Papadopoulos. The former Greek international managed to get his head to a Doyle long throw but only succeeded in flicking it just inside his far post.

Aloisi admitted was the worst defeat of their losing run. He was angered by basic defensive errors, highlighting a bizarre play from substitute Dylan Wenzel-Hall, who was stationed in the wall for Singh's free-kick goal but ducked out of the way of the ball's path.

"It's not good enough and that's why I'm angry," Aloisi said. "Of course, when you come away from home, they're going to have little bits of the game but you can't be conceding off set pieces like that. "In the end, when you gift goals like we did, it's very hard."

Brisbane were without the suspended Eric Bautheac and another key attacker, Stefan Mauk, struggling to shake off a groin niggle.

Australian A-League Standings