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Soccer-Sail slams defensive performance as Phoenix playoff hopes hit

(Reuters) – Wellington Phoenix captain Oli Sail slammed his team’s dismal performance in their 4-0 loss at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday as the New Zealand-based club’s hopes of progressing to the A-League finals suffered a significant blow.

The defeat at Western Sydney Stadium saw Wellington slip to sixth in the standings with one game left in the regular season and Ufuk Talay’s side are just now three points ahead of Newcastle Jets and Western United, who both play on Saturday.

Only the top six finishers advance to the end-of-season playoffs and Wellington, who face Macarthur FC in their final game of the regular season next Saturday, are now at risk of missing out.

“It was up there as one of the worst performances we have probably put out for a long, long time,” Sail said.

“Defensively, it was so far from what we are trying to do. It wasn’t even close to the game plan.

“They are a decent side, they move the ball nicely but we couldn’t even foul them if we wanted to. They are a good side, they are a very good side and we made them look a lot better than they are.”

Brandon Borello and Calem Nieuwenhof gave Western Sydney a two-goal lead at halftime and further strikes from Aidan Simmons and Kusini Yengi sealed the points for the Wanderers side that has already secured a playoff place.

“How do we bounce back from it? I don’t know,” goalkeeper Sail said.

“It’s been a pretty tough five weeks. We can’t just be a team that moves the ball nicely and looks comfortable in possession, you have to do the other side of the game.”

Melbourne City, who sealed top spot in the standings last week, have qualified for the playoffs alongside Western Sydney, Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners to leave two berths still available in the finals.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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