Vince Lia’s Wellington Phoenix languishes second-last on the A-League ladder following a 2-1 away loss to Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday.
The Tatura export featured in the heart of the Phoenix midfield and turned in a typically industrious performance in front of a crowd of 10644.
City opened the scoring in the shadows of half-time when Nick Fitzgerald’s heavily deflected shot evaded Wellington goalkeeper Glen Moss.
Roy Krishna tucked the ball away at the second attempt from a penalty on the hour mark to equalise during what was an engaging contest, highlighted by nine yellow cards (six Phoenix, three City).
But Bruno Fornaroli again played the role of hero, with the Uruguayan ace completing a coolly-taken penalty to score what was ultimately the match-winner moments after being tugged to the ground by Wellington defender Marco Rossi.
The three points sees City leapfrog cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory into second spot on the A-League ladder.
Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante believed his side was unlucky to not come away with a point.
‘‘They were good in the first-half and we struggled to deal with them,’’ Durante told Fox Sports.
‘‘In the second half we adjusted ourselves defensively and really put them under pressure.
‘‘I thought we deserved our goal and I think we were good enough for a draw.’’
Despite the game showing, Wellington is on six points through seven matches and feature on the road this week with an away trip to Adelaide United.
In other matches, Central Coast Mariners continued their recent revival with a 2-0 defeat of Perth Glory on Thursday night, Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar played out a 1-1 draw, Melbourne Victory defeated Newcastle Jets 2-0, while Sydney FC and Adelaide United played out a scoreless affair.
A-LEAGUE LADDER: Sydney FC 20, Melbourne City 16, Melbourne Victory 13, Brisbane Roar 13, Perth Glory 11, Central Coast Mariners 9, Western Sydney Wanderers 8, Newcastle Jets 6, Wellington Phoenix 6, Adelaide United 3.