Wellington Phoenix Couldn’t Go The Distance In Perth

The distance derby returns this round, a battle of the best from east and west, two sides which are just a bundle of joy and surprises this season. 

We’re gonna need a Nix and Glory contributor for TLL soon, because they would just LOVE writing about how their teams are having the greatest runs of their clubs existence. I don’t think the good people of Football Australia/Sokkah Twitter want me writing about their teams doing so much more better than mine. They prefer someone who has more excitement and drive. Truthfully, I am struggling here … :’) I need a holiday.

So, if you’re a Glory or Nix supporter and think you can write about your mob better than I am about to (honestly, you will, I’m sleep deprived and win deprived and happy deprived and just all round deprived), then contact The Ladies League now and get a free T-shirt as a recruitment gift (I don’t know about the free shirt, I lied, you’re gonna have to talk to boss about that.)

Back to the greatest derby known to mankind, it was going to be a long shot to have Perth Glory crumble under a current, fired up Phoenix, this round, but it’s the A-League and anything can happen at this point.

I flipped a coin, made a bet with my younger relatives and even hoped and prayed that the Nix would put Glory’s winning streak on stand by this week, but Perth had other plans.

We are all witness to the miracle turn around that Perth have made, all thanks to the player recruitment and leadership roles this season. And it shows week and and week out. Yes, former Wanderer, Tony Popovic has really brought the Glory bak to Perth, and it all starts with a strong header from Lowry which gave them their first goal, early and easy. It’s only 18 minutes in and the Nix now have to work a little harder to get themselves back on track.

…Well, they attempted to get back on track. But another superstar in royal purple just kept on making it harder to do so.

After returning from his duties as Australia’s next hero in green and gold (And mark my words now, he is going to be a regular legend to our national team), young footballing talent, Chris Ikonomidis headers the ball in after a failed attempt from Keeper Kurto, to parry the ball away from a dangerous area.

Another goal to his name, a 2 – 0 lead to the Glory and another reason why the Wanderers should never have let him go. GLORY, LISTEN TO ME, DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE! NEVER LET HIM GO!

Moving well into the second half, it only takes a good 18 minutes for a third and final goal. The Nix try to recover with a throw in, struggle to keep possession, continuously passing the ball to each other in a panic,  only to crack under the pressure after a sliding tackle from Juande which puts it perfectly into the path of Andy Keogh.

What’s he gonna do with it? Surly a shot from that far out wont be enough to pass the mighty Kurto? Ya know, Kurto, the same bloke who has been jumping around in the air for sh*ts and giggles, able to make enough of a stretch and effort to save balls that are even wide of the post. Yeah, not this time. It was too well placed by Keogh, a goal that was expecting to hit the post or just go wide, but beat the keeper all together, by a fraction of second, making the scoreline 3 – 0.

The last 20 minutes of the game was filled with Glory trying to make it 4 – 0 and shatter Wellingtons hopes of reviving themselves, it was also filed with a few nice attempts by the Nix but nothing too spectacular to give them at least one goal. Just wasn’t their night but nothing too much to be upset about as the Nix are still 5th on the ladder and have another shot to make it higher up next round against the Jets.

As for the Glory, who are now ‘gloriously’ 40 points clear on the ladder…well I’ll swallow my pride and say it, they’re winning the Premier plate if not the entire league, goddammit. Popa has worked his magic and so have the players. The club and their fans should be damn well proud of themselves for the entertaining and consistency they have this season.

I just pray that the Popa grand final curse doesn’t follow you too. (No, honestly, I pray for Glory. I have felt that pain more than once, I wish it upon nobody………….maybe Sydney FC.)

By Christina Trajceska

Wellington Phoenix Couldn’t Go The Distance In Perth

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