New Zealand

Wellington Phoenix overcome early injury to beat Brisbane Roar in A-League Women

At Sky Stadium, Wellington: Wellington Phoenix 2 (Mariana Speckmaier 6’, Annalie Longo 85’) Brisbane Roar 1 (Mia Corbin 90+4’) HT: 1-0

Wellington Phoenix have notched back-to-back wins in the A-League Women for the first time.

The Phoenix overcame an early injury to midfielder Grace Wisnewski to beat Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Sky Stadium on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals in either half from Mariana Speckmaier and debutante Annalie Longo. The latter was a brilliant solo strike that ensured a crucial two-goal buffer.

Wisnewski was in clear discomfort and had to be consoled by teammates after clashing knees with Brisbane’s Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop while attempting a tackle inside the opening 19 seconds of the match.

Wisnewski made her way to the sidelines unaided but was taken away in a cart and later seen on crutches.

She was still being attended to by medical staff when import striker Speckmaier opened the scoring with a glancing header from a sixth-minute free-kick.

Annalie Longo of the Phoenix celebrates her match-clinching goal.

Masanori Udagawa/Photosport

Annalie Longo of the Phoenix celebrates her match-clinching goal.

Speckmaier scored for the second consecutive game after directing a set-piece delivery from Michaela Foster past Brisbane goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz.

The Venezuelan international should have doubled the Phoenix’s lead when Brisbane midfielder Hollie Palmer mistook Speckmaier for a teammate and sent her through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

However, Speckmaier rushed her shot and hit a first-time effort against the crossbar.

Speckmaier had another chance to put the Phoenix 2-0 up when Fraser played a fantastic through-ball for her to run onto at the beginning of the second half, but her shot was tame and easily saved by Silkowitz.

The Phoenix made two changes from their 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers with Brianna Edwards and Manaia Elliott replacing imports Rylee Foster and Hope Breslin.

Edwards put in a strong performance in Foster’s absence but had one nervous moment when a fierce shot from Mia Corbin slipped through her gloves and crashed against the crossbar.

Football Ferns stalwart Longo made her long-awaited Phoenix debut as a second-half substitute and immediately tried her luck with a long-distance strike.

Phoenix right-back Hailee Davidson on the ball.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Phoenix right-back Hailee Davidson on the ball.

She completed the win with a stunning solo goal with four minutes left in regulation time to cap a dream debut.

Longo charged through the middle of the field, dribbled past two Brisbane defenders, cut inside the penalty area and beat Silkowitz with a powerful right-footed shot.

Longo pointed towards the Yellow Fever Zone and sprinted towards the supporters to celebrate.

Brisbane scored a consolation goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but the Phoenix held on to continue their impressive start under new coach Paul Temple.

Up next

The Phoenix will head out to the suburbs next Sunday, hosting Western United at Porirua Park – the first of six home games to be played at the 1900-seat venue. It will be just the third meeting between the two teams since Western came into the A-League Women last season. Western won both of their previous meetings, triumphing 4-1 and 1-0.

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