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Heart thumps Phoenix 5-0 in Wellington

Date
Rob Wielaert is congratulated by teammates after scoring against Wellington.

Rob Wielaert is congratulated by teammates after scoring against Wellington. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Heart produced one of the best performances in its short history, with a David Williams hat-trick inspiring a 5-0 thumping of Wellington Phoenix.

Heart remains bottom but gives itself a faint chance of making the finals. Phoenix dropped out of the play-off spots.

Needing a win to leapfrog sixth-placed Sydney following the Sky Blues' victory over Perth on Saturday, Phoenix turned in one of its worst performances of the season.

Heart striker Williams bagged a hat-trick - the first by a Heart player - as the Melbourne side notched its first victory on New Zealand soil and broke a 22-away game winless streak.

Heart coach John Van 't Schip had plenty of reasons to celebrate. ''If you can win in Wellington in what I think is one of the most difficult games to win for an away team… this result is good,'' he said.

Orlando Engelaar also scored for the Heart in the first half, while Phoenix keeper Glen Moss capped off a disappointing day when Robbie Wielaert's 54th-minute strike came off the bar and rebounded off his back into the goal.

The Phoenix players, wearing special charity strips, looked flat from the start and were two goals down inside 19 minutes.

Engelaar's fiercely struck opener on nine minutes was his first goal for the Heart and came after Mate Dugandzic's initial strike came back off Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante.

Engelaar, back in the side after suspension, then turned provider 10 minutes later when his quickly taken free-kick found Williams who chipped Moss after he had rushed right to the edge of his area.

The New Zealanders battled hard for the remainder of the half looking for a breakthrough but all too often the final pass was lacking under the constant pressure from the Heart defence.

Phoenix playmaker Carlos Hernandez was industrious throughout but couldn't shake the attention of Patrick Gerhardt to really create anything. Leading goal-scorer Stein Huysegems was also well marshalled by Melbourne's Jason Hoffman, while Melbourne goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was equal to everything sent his way.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick brought on Matt Ridenton for Jason Hicks at the start of the second half but it didn't stop the flow of goals. The Heart extended its 2-0 half-time lead when Williams slotted home his second six minutes into the second spell.

Wielaert made it four with some help from Moss three minutes later. Williams completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute when he curled his long-range shot past Moss and in off the post. It was Williams' fifth goal in three games. Heart substitute Stefan Mauk had a chance to make it six goals for the visitors in the dying minutes but Moss tipped his effort over the bar.

Merrick had no excuses. ''It was one of those days where everyone had an off day,'' he said.

AAP

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Round 3
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Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
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Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
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Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
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