Phoenix down undermanned Sydney FC 2-1

An undermanned Sydney FC has been beaten 2-1 by the Wellington Phoenix at a rain swept Westpac Stadium in round six of the Hyundai A-League on Saturday night.

An undermanned Sydney FC has been beaten 2-1 by the Wellington Phoenix at a rain swept Westpac Stadium in round six of the Hyundai A-League on Saturday night.

Without captain Terry McFlynn (hamstring), striker Alex Brosque (ankle) and gun midfielder Nicky Carle (toe), the Sky Blues battled gallantly in what was an even affair until the game changed in the 50th minute when referee Chris Beath judged new Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine to have pulled down Wellington defender Ben Sigmund as a corner came in.

Paul Ifill stepped up and put the Phoenix ahead with his first goal against Sydney FC.

However, Sydney FC and Cazarine soon struck back when the Brazilian took a long ball on his chest before laying off to Mark Bridge who then put through a deft pass in behind the Wellington defence which Cazarine ran onto and clinically put away with his right foot in the 67th minute.

But the joy was short lived when a 72nd minute screamer from Nick Ward put the Phoenix back in the lead, and the Kiwi-s would hold on and in doing so maintained their amazing 20-plus unbeaten streak at the Cake Tin.

Despite the loss it was a much improved performance from Sydney FC and the game marked a special occasion for the club with the debut of 16-year-old talent Terry Antonis.

The defending A-League champions now have the bye before taking on the Gold Coast at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday 26 September and should be bolstered by the return of Brosque and McFlynn.

Wellington started the game the better of the two sides and at one point enjoyed 69% of possession during the first half but the Sky Blues rallied and the opening stanza ended relatively even.

The game changed just five minutes into the second half when Beath ruled Cazarine, who has starting his first A-League game, pulled down Sigmund as players from both sides were jostling for position.

Cazarine made a direct swap with Kofi Danning in the Sky Blues starting line-up and the big Brazilian battled hard all night and the partnership with Bridge showed glimpses of promise throughout the match, highlighted by their 1-2 that ended in a Sky Blues goal.

With the loss of Carle, who had been playing with a badly broken big toe for the last two weeks, Hirofumi Moriyasu earned his first A-League start and turned in an excellent 80 minute performance before being replaced by Antonis.

After Cazarine-s goal, Sydney FC gained some ascendency but Ward-s goal will be one the best scored this season.

Sydney FC: 1 (Bruno CAZARINE -67) Wellington Phoenix: 2 (Paul IFILL -50, Nick WARD -72)

Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU (16. Terry ANTONIS -80), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK (c), 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 12. Shannon COLE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Scott JAMIESON (11. Kofi DANNING -66), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT (5. Hayden FOXE -87)

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)

Yellow Cards: 9. Bruno CAZARINE ‘49 Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 9. Bruno CAZARINE ‘67

Wellington Phoenix: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHEAD, 4.Nick WARD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC -82), 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22 Andrew DURANTE (c)

Substitutes Not Used: 11. DANIEL, 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 30. Griffin MCMASTER (gk)

Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 8. Paul IFILL -50, 4. Nick WARD ‘72

Referee: Chris BEATH Crowd: 8,453 at Westpac Stadium.