MATCH SUMMARY: Garcia Master Class Sinks Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Powell 92’) Central Coast Mariners 3 (Garcia 50’, Roux 53’ & Austin 85’)

The Run Down

A five-minute master class by Luis Garcia saw the Spaniard bag a classy back heel, followed by an assist to set up Storm Roux who finished with class! Mitch Austin finished it off with a cracking goal in the 85th minute to ensure our first away win IN 659 days! The drought was broken, with a 3-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix.

After a goalless first half it was the Liverpool Legend who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck when he substituted on at the break. In just five minutes, Garcia finished with a back heel and followed it up with an assist that saw Storm Roux fire home in his native New Zealand.

Once Austin pinned his ears back and finished from a tough angle with five minutes remaining, it was done and dusted in Christchurch despite a consolation goal to Blake Powell in stoppage time.

Luis Garcia stole the show in the second half but special mentions must go to Liam Rose who put in an incredible 90 minutes to pick up a deserved three points and Paul Izzo who made some sharp saves to keep the Yellow & Navy in the fight through out the match.

Goals

50’ GARCIA GOAL: Garcia came on as a substitute at half time and it only took him five minutes to feature on the scoresheet. The Spaniard found possession on the edge of the six yard box and like no other, his classy back heel found its way into the net of Glen Moss

53’ ROUX GOAL: It was Garcia again who forced himself on the game, this time he played creator for Roux to finish from close range. The Kiwi international still had plenty to do and made no mistake lobbing the ball home and doubling the Mariners’ lead.

85’ AUSTIN GOAL: Austin picked up possession on the left flank and had a lot to do from out wide. As he does so well, the imposing attacker broke free and fired a shot through the legs of Moss to ensure a dominant win in New Zealand.

92’ POWELL GOAL: Izzo was unlucky not to have a clean sheet after his immense performance but it was Powell who bagged a consolation goal in stoppage time for Wellington.

Walmsley’s Words

“They’re feeling buoyant, people don’t realise what a trip to New Zealand takes out of a group and how you need to overcome that.”

"We have to go away to Brisbane now and repeat, we talk about repeatability and sustainability, we haven’t been there yet but it’s coming.”

“The most pleasing aspect was the team’s ability to adapt at half time and go out and deliver a much better second half. Wellington had the line share of possession in the first half. We weren’t under too much threat but I felt the back four were under pressure.”

“You look at your bench and when you’ve got a player of Luis Garcia’s capability on there it makes making changes that little bit easier. He played a different role for us tonight, we played him as a false nine and he had the freedom to drop into pockets.”

“He already had a goal and an assist before he really got into the tempo of the game but that just shows the quality that he’s got.”

“There have been a number of games where we’ve lost by a narrow margin or drew so it’s a goal here or a goal there or an error here or an error there.”

“What can you say, Luis Garcia is a very clever player, he knows where space is and he sees things that the average player doesn’t typically see.”

“The impact he’s having with the players on the training pitch, in and around the hotel is immense. He has words of wisdom from many years of experience so he’s impact was unquestionable.” 

Wellington Phoenix: Moss (gk), Fenton, Fox, Muscat, Doyle, Riera, Bonevacia, Rodriguez (Appiah-Kubi 69'), Stevens (McGarry 77'), Powell, McGlinchey

Central Coast Mariners: Izzo (gk), Roux, Poscoliero (McDonald 79'), McGing, J. Rose, L. Rose, Neill, Stella (Garcia 46’), Ferreira, Austin, Bingham (Fletcher 83’)

Yellow cards: Bonevacia 26’, Riera 36’, Neill 45+1’, Liam Rose 88'