TODAY |

Phoenix score nifty counter-attacking goal in crucial A-League win over Perth Glory

Wellington Phoenix have moved closer to second spot in the A-League after withstanding a late Perth surge to beat Glory 2-1 at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday.

Goals to imports Gary Hooper and Ulises Davila moved the third-placed Nix to within one point of second-placed Melbourne City, who have played a game more.

The result also meant Wellington remained the only team with a mathematical chance of pipping leaders Sydney for the Premiers Plate, though the Sky Blues need just a point from their last four games.

Perth pulled a goal back through Dane Ingham just after the hour and laid siege to the Phoenix goal in the latter stages, but Wellington held on to secure the win.

"Once we scored a second goal, we ended up getting a little bit deeper than what I would have liked, but that happens in a game," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.

"It's in our hands what we do. Our focus from day one was too make the top six and I believe the points we have I think we've  secured a spot

."Now we will go back and have a look at it and push as much as we can for that second spot."..

Neither team produced a decent opportunity in a dull first half-hour, but the game perked up after Phoenix hit the front.

Wellington looked dangerous on the counter-attack in the first half and executed one in perfect fashion to open the scoring in the 32nd minute.

Impressive youngster Callum McCowatt lofted a ball over the top and Englishman Hooper brushed off Alex Grant and slotted the ball past an onrushing Liam Reddy for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Perth had the majority of  possession and more shots through the game, but struggled to create a first half chance apart from a fierce drive by Bruno Fornaroli, palmed away by Nix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.

Phoenix doubled their advantage in the 48th minute when Davila, who came on at the start of the second half, notched his 12th goal of the season after another halftime substitute, Jacob Tratt, fouled David Ball in the penalty area.

Davila's spot kick was too precise and powerful for Reddy, who went in the right direction but couldn't prevent the Mexican from making it five from five this season.

New Zealender Ingham made it two goals from his last two games, when his strong shot took a slight deflection off Liberato Cacace.

Fornaroli, who had scored nine times in ten previous games against Wellington, had two chances to equalise.

He curled one shot straight at Marinovic and had another attempt deflected over the bar.

Perth remain in fifth spot and coach Tony Popovic felt they deserved something out of the match.

"I was very happy with the performance," Popovic said..

"From the start we could have been a bit quicker with the ball movement, but I thought it was a good all round display by us."