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A-League: Melbourne Victory In Trouble After Getting Shocked By Wellington Phoenix

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 17: Phoenix fans celebrate during the round seven A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and the Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on January 17, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The 2016-17 A-League Premiership Plate is officially Sydney FC‘s to lose after Des Buckingham’s Wellington Phoenix delivered one of the upsets of the season, defeating Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory 3-0 at Westpac Stadium.

With the defeat, Melbourne drop to 10-2-3 and are running out of matches to catch up to Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC, who are 11-4-0 and still have not lost a game. Roly Bonevacia (33′), Jacob Tratt (90′) and former Victory swingman Kosta Barbarouses (90′ + 3′) were in on goal for Wellington, who are now in position to qualify for the Finals Series.

“We were hungry and we knew how important this week was,” said Andrew Durante. “We knew if we put the foot on the throttle and with them [Victory having to travel three days later [after their weekend game] we’d get chances. 3-0 win against a quality side like Victory is fantastic. We’ve copped a bit of flack over the last month about our performances but tonight was a real statement. We’re going for nine points so the boys are pumped. We’ve had two clean sheets so we’re ready for Saturday.”

“In the first five minutes Phoenix started better than us, and it kind of set the tone for the game,” said Carl Valeri. “It’s a little slip up along the way. The good thing about this week is we don’t have time to dwell on it. We have a tough game on Saturday [against Perth] which gives us a chance to redeem ourselves.”

Perth Glory had drawn away to Newcastle Jets 2-2 in Round 15 but are tipped by the Stoppage Time to prevail 3-0 over the Melbourne Victory in Round 16 as the match is at nib Stadium in Perth. As for the other matches, look for Melbourne City to smash Central Coast 4-0, Sydney FC to shut down Adelaide United 2-0, Wellington to lay another stunner on Brisbane Roar 3-0 and the Jets to rebound to pull off a shocker over the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1.

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