Football: Wellington Phoenix season slipping away after capitulation to Western Sydney Wanderers

Needing a win to cement their place in the A-League playoffs, Wellington Phoenix have fallen to their worst defeat of the season, leaving their hopes hanging by a threat.

A 4-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers represents the first time this season the Phoenix have failed to score, while their margin matched their previous worst of 5-1 against Adelaide last month.

The result leaves them without a win since March 12, as teams below them now line up for a shot at their spot in the top-six playoffs. Wellington are only three points ahead of Newcastle Jets and Western United, who both play on Saturday.

During those last five outings, they have been outscored 17-5.

Western Sydney celebrate a goal against Phoenix
Western Sydney celebrate a goal against Phoenix. Photo credit: Photosport

Western Sydney scored two goals in each half, with teenager Aidan Simmons celebrating his first A-League goal, dribbling past the advancing Sail to find the open goal.

The Phoenix managed just three shots on target - Wanderers had 12 - but did not lack for opportunities, enjoying a 5-1 advantage in corners.

"Up there as one of the worst performances we've put out for a long, long time," admitted Phoenix goalkeeper Oli Sail. "Defensively, so far from what we were trying to do... it wasn't even close to the gameplan.

"They're a decent side, they moved the ball nicely... we couldn't even foul them, if we wanted to.

"I don't think I've faced more one-on-ones in my career in one game.

"How we bounce back from that, I don't know. It's been a pretty tough five weeks."

Wellington must now turn their form around dramatically against Macarthur next Saturday, but even that may not be enough to stay in the post-season reckoning.

Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (Borrello, Nieuwenhof, Simmons & Yengi) Wellington Phoenix 0