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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Alessandro Diamanti (89' PEN)
  • David Ball (41')
  • Callum McCowatt (55')
  • Ulises Davila (80')

Wellington Phoenix cruise past Western United to keep unbeaten run going

Wellington Phoenix extended their unbeaten A-League streak to seven games with a 3-1 win over Western United in Ballarat.

David Ball scored in the 41st minute, Callum McCowatt doubled the margin in the 55th minute and Ulises Davila rounded out the game in the 80th minute at Mars Stadium on Saturday.

Alessandro Diamanti slotted an 89th-minute consolation penalty as the Phoenix earned redemption for their 1-0 round one loss to United.

"I'm glad that we were a lot more clinical in front of goal today to get the goals," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.

"Very pleased with the performance -- I thought we picked them off at times, played through their lines and scored some great goals."

The hosts suffered an early blow when Brendan Hamill was forced off the field with a knee injury after just 14 minutes.

They were then arguably fortunate to remain with 11 men after Jerry Skotadis dodged a red card for elbowing Ball in the 21st minute. Skotadis appeared to catch Ball around the head from behind but wasn't booked for the incident.

United had the chance to open the scoring in the 33rd minute when Max Burgess hit the post, but from there, the Phoenix grabbed the ascendancy.

In the 40th minute Ball ominously went on a surging run down the left wing and forced a diving fingertip save from Filip Kurto. A minute later, he gave the Phoenix the lead.

The energetic Cameron Devlin dispossessed Burgess and played an early ball to Davila.The Mexican attacker went on a breakaway run, spinning away from Aaron Calver, then held off Skotadis and cut a pass across to Ball, who slid the ball past Kurto.

United came desperately close to equalising in the 48th minute through Scott McDonald, who forced a close-range save from Stefan Marinovic.

Seven minutes later the excellent Reno Piscopo charged past Dylan Pierias and laid the ball off to McCowatt, who managed to work through the United defence and score.

In the 80th minute substitute Gary Hooper slipped a ball through to Davila, who charged down the right flank then coolly finished past Kurto.

United earned a late penalty when Phoenix skipper Steven Taylor dived into the path of Valentino Yuel's shot, handballing in the process.

Diamanti dispatched a lethal spot-kick past Marinovic for a consolation goal.

Wellington almost had the final say, as Hooper headed home past Kurto in the fourth minute of injury time, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

"It's a tough one to take because basically it was just those little errors that cost us today," lamented United coach Mark Rudan.

"Other than that I thought with the ball we were a lot better than we have been the last three weeks. "I thought the boys worked hard -- I can't have too much of a go at them because I thought the effort was still there in testing conditions."