Holding midfield duo key to Phoenix's win - Buckingham

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Wellington's boss underlined the importance of his team's defensive structure in overcoming Melbourne Victory on Tuesday

Co-coach Des Buckingham applauded "the key combination" of Vince Lia and Alex Rodriguez after Wellington Phoenix's shock win over Melbourne Victory.

Phoenix notched their second home win in four days in the A-League with Roly Bonevacia, Jacob Tratt and Kosta Barbarouses all scoring in a 3-0 win on Tuesday.

But it was holding midfield pair Lia and Rodriguez who earned the plaudits from Buckingham post-game.

"The last five or six weeks we've implemented a game plan and the players have hugely bought into it - the key combination of two holding midfielders with what is now a steady back four, so we're starting to get some consistency," Buckingham said.

Victory - the A-League's leading scorers - were held goalless for the first time this term as Lia and Rodriguez screened the Phoenix's impressive back four of Andrew Durante, Marco Rossi, Tratt and Tom Doyle.

Wellington were well worth their win as they finished the match with seven shots on target to just two from the visitors.

The triumph ensure the Phoenix remain on track to win three home games in eight days with the final fixture coming up against Brisbane Roar on Saturday.

Wellington rose to fifth with the win, leapfrogging Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets.

"We've created more chances and opportunities on goal than any other team in the league," Buckingham said.

"What has cost us is the conversion of those chances and we've done that tonight so that's pleasing, but the defensive setup has allowed us to do that.

"It's really pleasing to be able to defend well and attack well."

The Phoenix have lost just one of their seven matches since Buckingham and Chris Greenacre took over from Ernie Merrick in December.

Tuesday's result was Victory's first loss in nine A-League matches and ended their winning streak at six games.

 

 

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