2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Denis Genreau (65')

Macarthur get scrappy A-League win over Phoenix

Macarthur made the most of scant opportunities to cement their spot in the A-League top six with a 1-0 win over Wellington.

In a season with some instant classics, the WIN Stadium encounter failed to measure up with both teams struggling in attack.

Even the lone goal had an element of luck. A 65th minute cross from Ivan Franjcic was deflected awkwardly by Phoenix defender Tim Payne into the path of his 'keeper Oliver Sail who made a sterling save. But his block spilled out fortuitously for Denis Genreau, who slammed the ball into the top corner of the net.

It proved enough for the Bulls to get a valuable three points as they eye off a top-three finish in their inaugural season.

The first half wasn't hugely inspiring, the Phoenix seemingly flat playing their third match in seven days.

Coach Ufuk Taylor said as much after the clash, saying while they were unlucky, the scheduling had caught up with his side to a certain extent.

"We didn't play with the same intensity that we had in the last couple of games," he said. "There were times when we could have penetrated but we decided to keep possession of the ball."

The loss of important defender Steven Taylor to an apparent quad injury after just 10 minutes hardly helped the Kiwi side who looked disjointed in formation.

Things did pick up after the break. Loic Puyol guided a corner ball deftly towards goal in the 47th minute, but Sail was there to make a fine save.

Phoenix's best chances were invariably cruelled by offside play. An 83rd minute move came undone when Louis Fenton was offside and Adam Federici was forced into a palmed save five minutes later but once again the flag came up.

Macarthur (23 points) will sit no lower than fourth after the completion of the round while Phoenix (15) remain in ninth.

Bulls coach Ante Milicic, wasn't concerned that the match didn't present a great spectacle, and was delighted his team -- featuring the same XI in back-to-back matches for the first time this season -- were able to get full points from it.

"We got pinned back for the last 10 or 15 minutes after we scored - we wanted to keep the ball and play more in their half," he said. "But the game didn't allow it and sometimes that's what happens to you when you play not only a good opponent but one that is desperate at home to get something from the game."