Sydney FC Defeated In Wellington

A solitary goal has seen Sydney FC succumb to a 1-0 defeat to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

A solitary goal has seen Sydney FC succumb to a 1-0 defeat to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

The Sky Blues still remain in the top five despite the defeat and could move back into second place on the ladder with a win over Brisbane Roar at home on Boxing Day, depending on other results.

It was a piece of attacking brilliance from Carlos Hernandez that led to a relieved Stein Huysegems scoring the opener after 33 minutes.

The second half started badly for the hosts when Paul Ifill needed to be stretchered off the field with an Achilles injury.

But Sydney were still unable to find a precious goal as the Phoenix held on for their first victory of the season in front of 6,339 fans in Wellington.

The win is the first under coach Ernie Merrick and it moved the Phoenix up to 10 points.

Sydney FC entered the match with five wins from their past six matches but it was the Phoenix who led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Huysegems third goal of the season.

The relief was noticeable for the former Belgium international, who missed a crucial penalty against Central Coast on Thursday that ultimately denied his team a point.

After taking a superb ball from Hernandez, rounding goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and passing into the net from a tight angle, Huysegems ran to fellow striker Jeremy Brockie and the rest of the bench to celebrate.

At the other end, Joel Chianese missed his shot in front of a vacant goal and the ball crawled wide to the delight of the Yellow Fever.

Ali Abbas then tested Glen Moss but the comfortable height ensured the New Zealand shot-stopper was always in control.

Ifill found Huysegems in the middle of the box, but his effort hit the post before he miskicked an attempt minutes later.

The 31-year-old striker then looked to have been felled in the penalty area only for referee Peter O'Leary to wave play on.

Ifill was stretchered off early in the second half before Ranko Despotovic's effort limped over the bar.

Hernandez had a fantastic opportunity to double the Phoenix's lead with 25 minutes to play but his effort was well saved by Janjetovic from close range as the hosts maintained their intensity in attack.

Huysegems had a chance to seal the match with two minutes left to play but his shot soared well over the goal to ensure a thrilling final few minutes, but Merrick's men held on.

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Stein Huysegems 33)

Sydney FC 0

Crowd: 6,339 at Westpac

Sydney FC 20. Vedran Janjetovic, 2. Sebastian Ryall, 4. Ranko Despotovic, 6. Nikola Petkovic, 8. Pedj Bojic (5. Matt Jurman 62'), 11.Richard Garcia, 16. Joel Chianese, 19. Nick Carle, 22. Ali Abbas, 27. Chris Naumoff, (9. Corey Gameiro 45'), 28. Matthew Thompson (21. Yairo Yau 68')

Subs Not Used: 1. Ivan Necevski, 15. Terry McFlynn.

Yellow Cards: 9. Corey Gameiro.

Wellington Phoenix 1. Glen Moss, 2. Manny Muscat, 8. Paul Ifill (11. Jeremy Brockie 49'), 9. Kenny Cunningham (15. Jason Hicks 68'), 10. Stijn Huysegems, 13. Albert Riera, 16. Louis Fenton, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 21. Carlos Hernandez (7.Leo Bertos 85'), 22. Andrew Durante

Unused Substitutes: 20. Lewis Italiano, 5. Michael Boxall

Yellow 22. Andrew Durante, 11. Jeremy Brockie.

SYDNEY FC SET TO ROAR - Make sure you don't miss any of the action in a Boxing Day smash hit when Sydney FC take on Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium.

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