8 Mar 2015

Phoenix go top of A-League briefly

6:28 am on 8 March 2015

The Wellington Phoenix beat visitors Adelaide United 2-0 on Saturday at Hutt Recreation Ground to briefly go top of Australian football's A-League for the first time in their history.

Phoenix players celebrate Nathan Burns' goal at the Hutt Rec

Phoenix players celebrate Nathan Burns' goal at the Hutt Rec Photo: Photosport

Those lofty heights were only held for a few hours as leaders Perth Glory drew 1-1 at the Melbourne Victory, but some New Zealand football history was made nonetheless.

Nil-all at half-time in what was in truth a scrappy encounter with clear chances hard to come by, it took til the 79th minute for new striker Joel Griffiths to score the game's opening goal, the substitute tapping home a low cross in a goalmouth scramble.

Nathan Burns

Nathan Burns Photo: PHOTOSPORT

That was quickly followed up by fellow Australian Nathan Burns' goal three minutes later, the Socceroo heading in a Roly Bonevacia free-kick uncontested, leaving Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic stranded and ensuring the Phoenix took all three points.

Phoenix fans applaud their team at the Hutt Rec

Phoenix fans applaud their team at the Hutt Rec Photo: Photosport

The victory, the Phoenix's 11th this season, takes coach Ernie Merrick's Wellington side to second place on 36 points, one behind the Glory, after 20 games.

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