Western Sydney Wanderers 4
Wellington Phoenix 0
The Wellington Phoenix's dire season hit a new low with a 4-0 defeat at Western Sydney tonight.
The Phoenix also lost their previous outing 4-0 — but that was against runaway A-League leaders Sydney FC. There were no such mitigating circumstances against their western neighbours.
The Wanderers dominated from start to finish but their finishing was frequently inept and they could easily have won by seven or eight.
The hosts fired their first shot after just 10 seconds and hit the front in the sixth minute when Oriol Riera scored from a far-post header.
Western Sydney strolled through the first half, with Roly Bonevacia controlling midfield in a display reminiscent of the performances that made him such a fan favourite in his early days at the Phoenix.
Wellington held out the hosts and could even have equalised with the last kick of the first half but Andrija Kaluderovic sidefooted wide unmarked at the far post from a corner.
Despite squandering that opportunity, the Phoenix may still have fancied their chances given the Wanderers have the worst second-half record in the A-League. They had scored just three goals after the break in 18 games this season but a little over 45 minutes later, that tally had been doubled.
The chances kept coming for Western Sydney — the shot count finished at 33-5 — and Michael Thwaite effectively decided the result when he headed in a 63rd-minute corner, just the fourth goal of his 198-game A-League career. Christopher Ikonomidis and Jaushua Sotirio added two more at 10-minute intervals to complete the rout.
Wellington's next two games are against the teams immediately above them: at home to eighth-placed Perth on Saturday and away to ninth-placed Central Coast the following Friday.
If the Phoenix harbour any hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon this season, they will require points from these games. Based on tonight's performance, nobody should be holding their breath.
Western Sydney 4 (O. Riera 6, M. Thwaite 63, C. Ikonomidis 72, J. Sotirio 82)
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