Do the Poznan: Wanderers fans dance the night away. Photo: Cameron SpencerFollow live coverage as Western Sydney host Brisbane.
Welcome to our live coverage of Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix. Shane Brady here with you for the next two hours.
The Phoenix finally cracked it for a win two weeks and backed it up with another so this game could be closer than the gap between these two sides on the table might suggest.
The Phoenix’s lowly position has belied some of the football they have played, and but for some diabolical finishing they could be much higher as they have always been hard to beat.
The Wanderers go into this match with the lingering distraction of ugly incidents off the field and we hope it does not become a regular occurrence.
Everyone enjoys the spectacle of the Red and Black Bloc but hooliganism is one thing football in this country does not need.
Not long now until the action unfolds on the pitch where Tomi Juric announced his return from injury with a bang last week. It will take something to top that flying volley, surely one of the contenders for goal of the season.
No Matthew Spiranovic or Tahj Minniecon for the hosts as they make six changes but Shinji Ono and Youssouff Hersi will start.
The Nix have lost Carlos Hernandez for six weeks with a broken list, a big blow to the visitors.
1 min: The Nix kick off and we’re away. The ball goes dead and the Wanderers have a goal kick that releases Tomi Juric but he is flagged offside, wrongly as well. 0-0
2 min: Friendly fire as Polenz and La Rocca collide in an aerial challenge but they appear to be OK. 0-0
4 min: Brockie almost stole in on goal after an error by Polenz but Wanderers skipper Michael Beauchamp, back in the side, made a timely tackle that had be spot-on on the edge of the area. 0-0
6 min: The Nix get an early shot away through Cunningham but it is blocked by Mooy. They are putting together some decent possession in the Wanderers half and don’t seem overawed by their opposition. 0-0
8 min: The Nix win a corner and go short. The ball drops in the area but Huysegems’ shot is blocked and falls to Covic. They go straight down the other end and win a corner but it is easily cleared. 0-0
9 min: The Wanderers win another corner as Bridge breake through on goal but his touch is heavy and forces him wide, allowing the Nix defence to block his shot. Huysegems again clears the resultant corner but the hosts seemed to have joined the game now. 0-0
11 min: Muscat gets boxed in trying to play out and the clearance falls to Ono. Fenton’s attempted chest back to the keeper falls dangerously to Bridge but his shot is smothered for a corner. La Rocca meets the header but it is deflected wide. That was close. 0-0
14 min: Juric puts a beautiful cross on La Rocca’s head clear on goal but it flies just over. It wouldn’t have counted as he was flagged offside. The Wanderers are starting to flex their muscles. 0-0
16 min: Lia wins a free kick outside the area. Brockie curls it but can’t beat the wall. 0-0
17 min: Bridge wins a corner, the Wanderers’ 5th so far, but again they fail to beat the first man. Polenz bombs a long ball into the box but Moss is all over it. 0-0
19 min: Brockie pounces on a loose pass in defence and finds Huysegems but the Wanderers are able to regroup and defuse the attack. 0-0
22 min: No Hernandez, no Ifill, no worries so far for the Nix as they look composed on the ball and terrier-like in defence, pressing the Wanderers across the park. 0-0
24 min: Huysegems fashions a shot out of nowhere in a crowded area but it flies wide. Nice footwork from the big man, who has been in fine form for the Nix. 0-0
26 min: The Nix have been camped in the Wanderers’ half for a couple of minutes now but can’t penetrate their watertight defence. 0-0
29 min: Riera finds Fenton with a lovely sand wedge over the defence. Hicks shoots but it is deflected behind for a corner.
An absorbing battle so far. 0-0
31 min: Mooy hits a volley low and hard but Moss is able to parry it away and it is cleared for a corner. The Wanderers try a variation with better results but the ball goes dead off Juric for a goal kick. 0-0
33 min: First card of the match as Cunningham collects Polenz late, not the first time he has had a nibble at his opponent. 0-0
34 min: Penalty area pinball as the ball drops to Ono who backheels to Hersi but they are crowded out and win a free kick to relieve the pressure. 0-0
35 min: Hersi bursts through and releases Ono on the right flank but his cross is overhit and the Nix regroup and Moss is able to snuff out the danger. 0-0
37 min: The Nix defence is very well marshalled to thwart the Wanderers’ attack. They come again through Hersi but Mooy’s cross is cleared and La Rocca fouls Fenton in an aerial contest. Hersi is starting to make inroads down the right. 0-0
40 min: Fenton is tackled in a 50-50 trying to burst through the Wanderers defence and has hurt his bung shoulder. He will have to come off. A shame as he is a talented young fullback. That hurts. Boxall comes on as the injuries mount for the Nix. 0-0
43 min: The Wanderers ping it around crisply and find Hersi on the right. He teases in another inviting cross but again the Nix are able to clear. Then Hersi and Juric exchange a one-two in the box but his shot is scuffed straight at Moss. All roads lead to Hersi at the moment. 0-0
45 min: Hicks finds Boxall down the right but his cross is intercepted by Covic and the Wanderers come again. Polenz hits a perfect cross on to Ono clear in front of goal but he hits the post and it bounces just the wrong side of the line and the Nix get a huge let-off. 0-0
46 min: Just the one minute added and the whistle goes for half-time in a very absorbing battle. The best chance fell to the Wanderers at the end of the half but chances have been few and far between despite the attacking flair shown by both sides. The Nix have obviously done their homework and are well in this match despite their mounting injury toll. Will they be able to keep it up for another 45 minutes? Join us again in a quarter of an hour and find out.
Happy New (World Cup) Year by the way. This is a good way to kick it off.
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