The Wellington Phoenix go into Saturday’s A-League elimination final against Western United with winning form against the club.
The Phoenix have won all three of their meetings with Western United this season.
A first-half goal from Ben Waine secured the Nix a 1-0 win in their FFA Cup round of 32 match in Geelong in early December.
Gael Sandoval scored on debut in their first A-League meeting in Wollongong in January, with Gary Hooper also finding the back of the net in a 2-1 win.
And last month the Nix rebounded from heavy back-to-back defeats to beat Western United 4-1 in Ballarat. Jaushua Sotirio scored twice, while Scott Wootton and Sandoval also got on the score sheet.
“They’re still a good team,” Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay said. “They finished in a good position at the back end of the season [and] they’ve got some experienced players.
“We’ve had some good results against them but that was in the regular season. Finals football is a lot different. It’s a one-off game.”
Main photo: Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay … ‘it’s a one-off game.’ Image: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
The path to the A-League grand final
The Wellington Phoenix’s path to the Isuzu UTE A-League grand final is through Melbourne.
Australian Professional Leagues have announced the Phoenix’s elimination final against Western United will be played at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday, May 14 at 7:45pm AEST (9:45pm NZT).
If the Nix beat Western United they return to AAMI Park the following weekend for the second leg of their semi-final against Melbourne City.
The first leg of their semi-final, should they qualify, would be played at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday, May 18.
There is also a good chance the 2022 A-League grand final will be played in Melbourne, after Victorian clubs City, Victory and Western secured the first three berths in the finals.
Tickets for the finals go on sale on Thursday.
This story is reproduced with the assistance of the Wellington Phoenix.