A brace from Brendon Santalab and an early strike from Nico Martinez helped Tony Popovic’s side to a comfortable victory, their first of the season at their adopted home ground.

The Wanderers raced out of the blocks and took a deserved lead inside 10 minutes with Argentine star Nico Martinez firing home from the edge of the box.

GALLERY: Wanderers v Phoenix match action

The hosts continued to dominate proceedings and doubled their advantage just five minutes before the interval with Brendon Santalab netting a powerful strike.

The procession continued after the break with Santalab extending the hosts’ lead with a close-range finish just three minutes into the second half.

Wellington continued to fight and grabbed a consolation in the  final 15 minutes with Gui Finkler netting  a well-taken free kick.

The win leaves Western Sydney five points clear of seventh-placed Wellington and six ahead of Newcastle Jets with four rounds remaining.


1-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Nico Martinez, 9’

Wanderers fullback Scott Neville won a loose ball inside the Phoenix area with the ricochet finding Martinez who expertly slotted the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Brendon Santalab, 40’

Mitch Nichols surged forward down the left flank and picked out Santalab on the edge of the area with the striker taking a touch before firing a powerful left-footed strike past Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.

3-0 Western Sydney Wanderers: Brendon Santalab, 48’

Jack Clisby found Nico Martinez inside the area with the Argentine dinking the ball to the back post with Santalab on hand to bury a close-range header.

3-1 Wellington Phoenix: Gui Finkler, 76’

The Phoenix won a free kick 25 metres from goal with the Brazilian stepping up to curl a delightful strike into the right corner, leaving Janjetovic stranded.


Wellington almost pulled a goal back just before the break with Wanderers keeper Vedran Janjetovic denying the visitors with a smart reflex save.  A long-range strike from Kosta Barbarouses took a wicked deflection and was destined for the back of the net but Janjetovic was able to quickly change direction and parry the ball clear.


  • Western Sydney Wanderers  have won five of their last seven clashes with Wellington Phoenix
  • Santalab’s brace moved him ahead of Mark Bridge as Western Sydney’s all-time leading goal-scorer with 29 goals.