Phoenix aim to end 20-game A-League drought at Melbourne’s AAMI Park

posted in: A-League (Men), News

Wellington Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano says his team is ready to bury its ‘hoodoo’ of not winning at Melbourne’s AAMI Park for 20 matches.

The Phoenix will face Melbourne Victory at the stadium on Sunday, in the first leg of their A-League semi-final series.

“Going to AAMI Park is going to be a real test because we never win there,” Italiano told AAP.

“Haven’t won there in such a long time that it’s almost like a mindset thing, it’s almost like a hoodoo, right?

“But you have to break those hoodoos in order to be a champion team.”

Main photo: Melbourne’s AAMI Park … venue for the first leg of the semi-final on Sunday.

The Phoenix have not beaten Victory at AAMI Park since April 2017.

Giancarlo Italiano … ‘it’s almost like a mindset thing.’

“It’s a very hard place to go. In the back of my mind, in terms of experience, they (Victory) are the one club I wanted to play in a semi-final at AAMI Park,” Italiano said.

“Their fans make for an electric atmosphere, and if we have a good travelling contingent, too, it will be a great feel and experience for the boys.”

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Semi-final fixtures

Semi-final 1, first leg

Game to be played on Friday May 10, 2024

Sydney v Central Coast Mariners
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 9.45pm (NZT)

Semi-final 2, first leg

Game to be played on Sunday May 12, 2024

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix
AAMI Park, Melbourne, 6pm (NZT)

Semi-final 1, second leg

Game to be played on Saturday May 18, 2024

Central Coast Mariners v Sydney
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford, 9.45pm (NZT)

Semi-final 2, second leg

Game to be played on Saturday May 18, 2024

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 6.30pm (NZT)

Grand final

Game to be played on Saturday May 25, 2024

Winner semi-final 1 v winner semi-final 2
Highest-ranked semi-final winner to host game

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