Phoenix return to winning ways in Beijing friendly

Alex Chapman,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 February 2017, 8:06AM
(Getty Images).
(Getty Images).

The Wellington Phoenix have returned to winning ways, albeit in a friendly against Beijing BG.

They've won 1-nil in Wellington to secure the Capital Cup, with Kosta Barbarouses' penalty coming courtesy of the trialled video assistant referee.

Co-coach Des Buckingham said the game allowed them to make some tweaks.

"We were disappointed last week in the amount of possession we were able to keep and be effective with it. It gave us the chance to look at two players up front in Hamish [Watson] and Shane Smeltz. I thought when we played through the middle, when we used them, I thought we looked quite dangerous."

Buckingham said the Beijing match provided something different and served its purpose.

"It was a good run out. It was much better than the training session we would have put on. There's nothing better than playing for these players and again, it's acting as good preparation for us for Melbourne."

New video assistant referee technology was trialed in the match for the first time and it's been controversial.

The only goal of the game coming via the penalty spot after a review, with Dylan Fox brought down in the box.

Buckingham said there's now going to be pressure on players to make sure they're always doing the right thing.

"The holding, and the grappling, some of the off ball stuff is something that's really going to have to tidy up. Simulation and bits and pieces that could potentially lead to goals is an area that people may have to start focusing on."

But Buckingham said the technology may be the lesser of two evils.

"If that's a league game that's a difference between three points and one point for us. Sometimes it's going to go for sometimes it's going to go against, but if the right decision's been made we'd be happy with a two minute delay if it means you're coming away with a three rather than a one point."

The technology will be used in the final two rounds of the A-League.

The Phoenix host Melbourne City on Saturday.

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