Opps rewind: Three past Nix encounters

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We wind the clock back and revisit three memorable clashes against Wellington Phoenix ahead of the weekend’s season-opening visit to Sky Stadium.

Let’s kick it off with the Reds’ largest win against their Kiwi opponents, a 6-1 demolition at Hindmarsh.

Adelaide United vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, 5 December 2008
A-League 2008/09 Season – Round 3
Adelaide United FC 6 (Ognenovski 21’, Cristiano 43’ 74’, Cássio 57’ 70’, Dodd 90’)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Fred 56’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Crowd: 9,442

Formidable centre-half Saša Ognenovski could not stop scoring in the middle of the 2008/09 season, and he found the back of the net for the third consecutive game with the first goal in this classic encounter.

It was surely a header, right? Wrong. Ognenovski fired home a low volley from a rebounded corner to extend his growing goal-scoring reputation.

But it was fan-favourite Cássio and his Brazilian counterpart Cristiano who put the game to bed after Wellington hit back to make it 2-1 in the 55th minute.

Cássio cannoned a near-identical brace from the left in quick succession, before a similarly taken third effort ricocheted to Cristiano for a tap-in and his second for the match. Captain Travis Dodd sealed the victory with a deflected finish and relieved celebration after a tireless shift. United would finish second after the regular season and runners-up for the Championship.

Adelaide United vs Wellington Phoenix
Friday, 22 October 2010
A-League 2010/11 Season – Round 11
Adelaide United 3 (van Dijk 71’, Flores 72’, Dodd 77’)
Wellington Phoenix 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Crowd: 11,206

United were unbeaten in the first ten heading into this 2010/11 clash against the Phoenix at Coopers Stadium.

It took all of 70 minutes for the home side to finally gain advantage through a Sergio van Dijk header after countless chances in front of the Phoenix goal.

Silky Argentine Marcos Flores doubled it a minute later with a cheeky chip over defiant goalkeeper Mark Paston, courtesy of a squared ball from substitute Travis Dodd.

Dodd then smashed home the third from a right diagonal to cap the six-minute blitz and send the previously frustrated Reds faithful into raptures.

At the time the 3-0 victory marked the longest winning streak in A-League history, totalling 13 games stretching back to the season before. In the same year United claimed the (still) biggest win in A-League history – an 8-1 rout of the long-defunct North Queensland Fury.

Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United
Sunday, 5 March 2016
A-League 2016/17 Season – Round 22
Wellington Phoenix 0
Adelaide United 4 (McGowan 31′, Mauk 41′, Djite 49’, P Sánchez 90′)
Westpac Stadium

In what is traditionally a tough place to play, United had little trouble in this four-goal feast in New Zealand in 2016.

Reliable defender Dylan McGowan struck first after he turned in some head tennis from a corner at the far post, and Marcelo Carrusca slipped Stefan Mauk through for a tidy finish just before half-time.

It was much the same in the second stanza. Reds legend Bruce Djite tapped home from a Craig Goodwin cross, and Pablo Sánchez converted at the death after a darting run through the heart of the Phoenix defence.

Of course, United went on to claim a first A-League Championship in the very same season.