24 Oct 2016

Phoenix failure to score costs them again

7:06 am on 24 October 2016

The Phoenix were undone by a last gasp goal as they fell to a 1-0 loss to Sydney FC in their A-League football clash in Wellington.

Sydney celebrate their last-minute goal against the Wellington Phoenix during the match in Wellington.

Roy Krishna of the Phoenix, left, fights for possession with Sydney's Matthew Jurman. Photo: Photosport

Sydney snatched the win with a 92nd minute goal from Milos Ninkovic at Westpac Stadium.

The Phoenix, who've lost all three of their games so far and haven't scored a goal in 270 minutes this season, were again punished for their inability to convert their chances.

However, they looked to have done enough to earn a point until Ninkovic slotted home Matt Simon's header with barely a minute of added time remaining.

With earlier 4-0 wins over Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners, Sydney are the only unbeaten team after three rounds, and top the A-League ladder two points clear of second-placed Perth Glory.

The Phoenix remain rooted to the bottom of the standings in 10th and last place, without any points to their name.

The Sydney Coach Graham Arnold said his team were rewarded for pushing hard right until the final whistle

"I don't think it was lucky," he said.

"I think it was looking like a draw, so we snatched a victory at the end. For me, it was a fantastic effort by our boys.

"I think we showed our fitness was very high - especially the second half, we ran over the top of them and I thought there was only one team that looked like winning."

Sydney celebrate their goal during the A-League - Phoenix v Sydney FC football match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Sunday the 23rd October 2016.

Sydney celebrate their last-minute goal against the Wellington Phoenix during the match in Wellington. Photo: Photosport

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was left lamenting two offside calls that didn't go Wellington's way.

"We were in the box that many times, good quality build-up play. I thought it was the best football we've played this year easily," he said.

"To not finish when we had so many chances, and two offside calls which weren't offside... it was really tough to take."

The first offside call came after 13 minutes. Michael McGlinchey slotting Kosta Barbarouses's low cross home before assistant referee Sarah Jones raised the flag.

The second came three minutes before halftime, when Roy Krishna found the back of the net off a well-weighted Barbarouses through ball.

Jones again raised the offside flag, but the Fijian striker was unlucky after looking to have timed his run perfectly.

Sydney looked at their most dangerous on the counterattack.

David Carney broke through in the 33rd minute and unleashed a powerful left- footed drive which forced a superb reflex save from Wellington keeper Glen Moss.

The Phoenix continued to manufacture plenty of solid opportunities in the second spell, but still couldn't convert and Sydney clawed their way back into the match with a stinging series of attacks.

Carney looked to have nailed the winner in the 78th minute, finding space down the left then cutting inside young Phoenix right back Jacob Tratt only to curl his shot wide of the far post.

The offside flag again halted Barbarouses in the 84th minute when he was through one-on-one with Sydney keeper Danny Vukovic, before Ninkovic scored the winner eight minutes later

-RNZ / AAP

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.