Resilient Sydney hold on to withstand Phoenix hurricane

If Sydney FC had gone down to Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night the excuses they could turn to would be aplenty.

It wasn’t that they dominated their 1-0 triumph at a windy Westpac Stadium, far from it, in fact the bad luck they encountered would be enough to excuse any points dropped.

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Early on they were denied a 50/50 penalty call after Wellington’s Louis Fenton looked to have handled the ball in the box.

A few minutes later they opened the scoring through Siem De Jong but were left dismayed as the Dutchman had his ankle injured riding an Andrew Durante challenge in the process.

They lost another player in Anthony Caceres before half-time and after the interval the Phoenix really ramped up the pressure on the visitors.

Despite their best efforts the Sky Blues were holding on until fullback Michael Zullo brought down Wellington’s Steven Taylor in the box with eight minutes to play.

It looked one bridge too far for Steve Corica’s side but up stepped Andrew Redmayne to deny Roy Krishna from the spot and Sydney had an unexpected three points.

If Sydney felt their result was a just reward for their perseverance then Wellington would be feeling the exact opposite after what was a strong performance at home.

They enjoyed 64 per cent possession and bombarded the Sky Blues late on, firing off six shots, four on target, in the second half alone.

The usually reliable Krishna was unable to deliver from 12 yards as the home side’s nine-match unbeaten run came to an end.

A gritty and much-needed result for the Sky Blues who now turn their attention to a massive Big Blue on Australia Day.

The Nix meanwhile have another crack at home, this time against Melbourne City, on the same day as they look to get back on track.

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