Macarthur FC‘s hopes of earning a home semi-final in their first season in the A-League was ended in their last game of the regular season as the in-form Wellington Phoenix claimed a commanding 3-0 win at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday.
Goals from David Ball, Tomer Hemed and Ben Waine ensured that the visitor ended the season on an eleven game unbeaten run.
The result sees the New Zealand side finish seventh, just one point shy of a place in the final series, while the hosts who started the game in fifth place drop to sixth place, having already secured their final series berth before this game.
The visitors had the chance to go third at least temporarily until Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners play their own game, but they instead put up a toothless display, failing to truly trouble their visitors, who proved too much for them.
Phoenix began the game more aggressively but could not capitalise on their dominance until the first minute before halftime when the very impressive Tomer Hemed found David Ball with a back-heeled pass in the box to pick the right corner of Adam Federici’s goal.
Hemed got on the score sheet himself a minute after the restart, firing past Federici after the ball fell kindly to him inside the six-yard box. The goal was his sixth goal in his last five games and put Wellington in control of the game.
Macarthur’s misery in the night was further compounded 13 minutes later when substitute Loic Puyo was sent off following a studs-up challenge on Ulises Davila.
However, despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts nearly halved the deficit through Michael Ruhs. But the youngster’s header could only cannon off the post as the Bulls continued to search for a goal.
At the other end of the field, Hemed should have doubled his tally for the evening five minutes before the end, but Federici easily saved his tame spot-kick.
But with one minute left on the clock, 89th-minute substitute Ben Waine fired home from close range to seal the game for the Phoenix.