Bertos and Phoenix Defy Bookies with Glorious Victory Over Perth

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2009

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 16:  Leo Bertos of the Phoenix kicks the ball during the round two A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium on August 16, 2009 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

The Wellington Phoenix seemed to be living up to their billing as rank wooden spooners in this seasons A-League after clawing their way back from two down last week only to lose it at the death away to the Newcastle Jets.

Apparently the pundits had installed Wellington as most likely to finish last this season before a ball had even been kicked.

The first round result was cause for optimism in the Phoenix camp and would have definitely caused some surprises with the way the Phoenix were able to come back from two goals down too come within moments of snatching a precious away point.

Even though it was a loss the boys from the windy city would have felt they were extremely unlucky not to come away with something from the match.

Sunday nights game in New Zealand's capital has changed all that with the Phoenix able to take their first three pointer courtesy of a star turn from one of their local lads, Leo Bertos, who in a delightful twist was playing against his former club.

The diminutive Wellingtonian was in excellent form that saw him set up former Crystal Palace striker Paul Ifil with the equalizer and then snatch the points for the home side with a stonking free kick in the 85th minute.

Though it took a slight deflection it was still a goal that any player would want to score, at home in front of a good vocal crowd and at such a time that it decided the outcome of an entertaining game.

Though the Perth Glory will feel aggrieved that they came away from the game with nothing, they have no one to blame but themselves for the result. Though they perhaps enjoyed longer periods of dominance they were fought with ferocity in the midfield and given no quarter by a Wellington side desperate to prove the pundits wrong.

This result will no doubt boost the Phoenix in their upcoming matches and another huge positive is that Ifil was able to open his account which means both of the Wellington sides imported strikers have now gotten off the mark.

Chris Greenacre is the other striker they have brought in from abroad and he was able to open his account in the defeat to Newcastle in the opening game of the season.

Positive signs for the Phoenix faithful and three points in the bank in what will be a defining season for the Wellington side.

Bertos will take the plaudits for a great game against his old team and deserves them for his belief in his ability and giving the Wellington fans a moment they will remember for many years to come.

With a tough away trip to face the Queensland Roar next up, the Phoenix will be hoping that their tenacity and skill will again come to the fore in what will be a challenging match up. The Roar are without a victory so far with a defeat in the opening weekend and a draw in the last round.

Picked to be a form team this season it will be interesting to see how the Wellington side are able to compete with the Brisbane outfit.