Team Wellington hammer Wellington Phoenix Reserves 6-1 in ASB Premiership

Team Wellington have had an ideal attacking tune-up ahead of next week's ASB Premiership semifinal, putting six goals past the Wellington Phoenix reserves.

Their 6-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix reserves on Friday took them level with second-placed Hawke's Bay on points, although the tiebreaker is head-to-head rather than goal difference which means Hawke's Bay will host the semifinal next week.

Friday's game was over as a contest inside 25 minutes as Team Wellington took a 3-0 lead.

Leonardo Villa opened the scoring after seven minutes, although his tame free-kick from the right edge of the box should have hit the wall, but the man on the edge jumped out the way and the ball took one bounce on its way to beating goalkeeper Oliver Sail at his near post.

It was as much as Team Wellington deserved as Villa, Alex Feneridis and Mario Barcia bossed the midfield exchanges with their physicality and superior positioning.

Fergus Neil grabbed their second goal after 23 minutes - his shot taking a wicked deflection to wrong-foot Sail.

Roughly 90 seconds later, the ball fell to Barcia a few yards outside the box after a corner, with the Argentinian firing home a low and hard drive to the bottom-left corner.

That calmed what had been quite a niggly opening quarter and the referee's whistle became far less prominent thereafter. 

What it didn't stop was the Team Wellington chances - although Luis Corrales rattling the crossbar 10 minutes before halftime was the closest they came to a fourth first-half goal.

The Phoenix got a small foothold in the game and James McGarry forced a good save from Alex Carr and then fired another shot wide just before the teams headed for the sheds.

Within three minutes of the restart, Barcia had his second well-taken goal, slotting home a composed side-foot finish to the bottom-right corner from just inside the box.

Another three minutes passed before Team Wellington striker Ben Harris earned a penalty.

However, Harris could not add to his golden boot-leading tally of 13 for the season as Sail guessed the right way and made a simple save to his right.

Harris then picked up a yellow card and will miss the semifinal.

Young Phoenix striker Joel Stevens suffered what looked like a dislocated shoulder with 25 minutes to play.

Tom Jackson scored a brace in the final seven minutes to complete the rout, before McGarry added a consolation goal.

Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott said he was impressed by the way his team quickly bounced back from the disappointment of losing to Hawke's Bay last week.

"You don't know how they are going to react after last week, but it was really positive and it looked like the guys enjoyed it in the second half."

Calcott was as perplexed as anyone else during the week when he found out about the head-to-head tiebreaker.

"I was surprised. I wasn't actually aware it had changed until the other day. It's not normally the norm but that's the way the cards have been dealt."


Team Wellington 6 (Leonardo Villa 7', Fergus Neil 23', Mario Barcia 25', 48', Tom Jackson 84', 87') Wellington Phoenix 1 (James McGarry 90'). HT: 3-0. 

 - Stuff