Less than a fortnight after Wellington Phoenix derailed Adelaide United’s Premiership bid in dramatic fashion, the sides meet again in a high-stakes encounter at Coopers Stadium.
Adelaide’s ambitions to be crowned Premiers suffered a severe dent after 'Nix striker Tomer Hemed struck a last-gasp winner seven minutes into stoppage time from the penalty spot in a 2-1 triumph at WIN Stadium in Matchweek 18.
The Reds went on to drop more points in a goalless home draw against Western United to fall seven points off the pace at the top of the A-League ladder, slipping to fifth and leaving their top-six berth under serious threat.
The New Zealand outfit have hit their straps over the past month, stringing together a five-match unbeaten stretch that has propelled them back to the brink of finals contention but Ufuk Talay’s side can not afford to lose steam and keep those aspirations in tact.
Wellington travel to South Australia in ninth place, only six points off second spot in a congested ladder, but having played more games than the majority of their Finals Series rivals as the race for the top-six cranks up another gear heading into Matchweek 20.
The big incentive for the Phoenix to stay in the hunt is their long-awaited homecoming to the Kiwi capital in two weeks time. Dealing the Reds another painful defeat would keep the momentum building to fever-pitch levels ahead of what is sure to be an emotional return to Sky Stadium on Friday, 21 May.
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
Friday, May 7 2021
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Kick-off: 7.35pm AEST
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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