Coach Paul Temple: ‘A huge win’ as the Phoenix women beat Perth Glory 3-1

posted in: A-League (Women), News

The Wellington Phoenix have sensationally snapped their run of road defeats to keep alive their women’s A-League finals hopes.

The Phoenix have beaten the Perth Glory 3-1 at Macedonia Park in Perth, thanks to goals from Alyssa Whinham, Michaela Robertson and Macey Fraser.

It is Wellington’s first Liberty A-League win on Australian soil since October and leaves the Nix two points adrift of the top six with four matches remaining, three of which will be at home.

Main photo: Head coach Paul Temple … ‘we really stepped up in the second half.’

“It’s a huge win for us,” Phoenix head coach Paul Temple told media post-match.

“It’s been well documented our struggles on the road so we’ve decided to come to the furthest place we can play and get a win!

“But I thought we were well-deserved winners in the end. It was very, very tight in the first half. It was pretty end to end and both teams had some good chances, but I thought in the second half we really stepped it up and had the best chances.

“We had two real moments of quality. Alyssa’s through ball for the second goal was outrageous, really, and Macey’s finish for the third goal. We haven’t had those bits of quality in the last few weeks, and it was awesome to see that tonight.”

Temple believes staying in Australia after Sunday’s disappointing 5-3 defeat to Melbourne Victory proved to be pivotal.

“It could literally change our season doing that. It was a really good decision.

“We’re really thankful to the club as it obviously costs to come this early and put us up. To do that for us was huge.

“It’s been great. We’ve had some time in Perth, adjusted to the time zone [and] trained in the heat. It’s a beautiful place and we’ve enjoyed having time together.

“After Sunday, we were pretty sore. It was a hard one to take. We obviously got a little bit humiliated in the first half and just to come together and spent that time together as a team going through what we needed to…I thought that was really valuable.”

Four changes to starting line-up

Paul Temple made four changes to the XI which started against Victory, with second half substitutes Michaela Robertson, Mariana Speckmaier and Tiana Jaber, and academy graduate Daisy Brazendale replacing Zoe McMeeken, Emma Main, Hailey Davidson and Macey Fraser.

Temple had to make a further change little over a quarter of an hour into the match when centre back Rebecca Lake was forced off with an ankle injury and replaced by Main. It meant captain Michaela Foster dropped into a back three alongside Mackenzie Barry and Jaber.

The Phoenix played into a strong wind in the first half and did well to limit Perth’s goalscoring opportunities.

They broke the deadlock with a quickfire counter into the strong breeze. Speckmaier won possession inside Wellington’s half, burst up field and found Isabel Cox, who stood up an inch-perfect cross to the back post which Whinham nodded home from close range.

Alyssa Whinham opens the scoring for the Phoenix.

It was the first time the exciting midfielder had found the back of the net since her memorable maiden goal in January 2022.

Rylee Foster made a sharp save to deny Philippines international Quinley Quezada in the 40th minute, but, with the wind at their backs, the Glory looked most dangerous from set pieces.

And it was from a set piece that they drew level a couple of minutes later, with Hana Lowry curling in a right-wing free-kick.

The Nix came within inches of restoring their lead in first half stoppage time when Main’s deflected strike rattled the crossbar, but Wellington had to be content with being level at halftime.

The Phoenix did reclaim their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Robertson got on the end of a defence-splitting through ball from Whinham and beat Perth ‘keeper Morgan Aquino with a first-time finish.

Aquino made a great save shortly after to prevent Cox from making it 3-1 as the Phoenix again broke from deep inside their half.

Speckmaier should have doubled their advantage in the 62nd minute when Glory’s goalkeeper was drawn out of her goal but Football Ferns defender Liz Anton was able to clear Speckmaier’s shot off the line.

Morgan Aquino made another fine save 10 minutes later to deny Whinham her second as she dribbled her way into the Perth box after playing a neat one-two with Cox.

Fraser, on as a substitute in the 65th minute, added the exclamation point to Wellington’s performance 12 minutes from fulltime when she beat Aquino with a stunning long-range strike.

Rylee Foster was relatively untroubled in the second half as the Phoenix ensured they secured all three points and kept their finals hopes alive.

After eight road games in nine rounds, the Wellington Phoenix will now prepare for two matches at Porirua Park in four days, starting with next Sunday’s match against reigning champions Sydney FC.

Match highlights


Game played on Saturday March 9, 2024

Perth Glory 1 (own goal 42′)
Wellington Phoenix 3 (Alyssa Whinham 24′, Michaela Robertson 56′, Macey Fraser 78′)


Table at 4am (NZT) on Saturday March 9.


Perth Glory

1. Morgan AQUINO (gk), 3. Jessika COWART, 4. Natasha RIGBY (c), 7. Liz ANTON, 8. Hana LOWRY, 9. Millie FARROW, 10. Rasamee PHONSONGKHAM (13. Sarah CAIN 84th), 11. Grace JALE, 19. Isabella FOLETTA (31. Clara HOARAU 66th), 20. Quinley QUEZADA (14. Tia STONEHILL 66th), 23. Isobel DALTON (18. Sadie LAWRENCE 66th).

Unused substitutes: 24. Sally JAMES (gk).

Wellington Phoenix

1. Rylee FOSTER (gk), 4. Mackenzie BARRY, 7. Isabel COX, 10. Alyssa WHINHAM, 11. Hope BRESLIN (27. Helena ERRINGTON 77th), 13. Michaela FOSTER (c), 14. Michaela ROBERTSON (18. Hailey DAVIDSON 77th), 15. Daisy BRAZENDALE, 17. Mariana SPECKMAIER (6. Macey FRASER 65th), 23. Rebecca LAKE (20. Emma MAIN 19th), 26. Tiana JABER.

Unused substitutes: 12 Brianna EDWARDS (gk).


10. Alyssa WHINHAM (Wellington Phoenix) – yellow – 31′
11. Hope BRESLIN (Wellington Phoenix) – yellow – 35′
8. Hana LOWRY (Perth Glory) – yellow – 39′


This story is published with the help of the Wellington Phoenix.

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