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Hot Krishna burns Mariners in Canberra

NZN 12/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Roy Krishna has continued his stellar A-League form to inspire Wellington to a dominant 2-0 win over a flat Central Coast in Canberra.

Krishna showed off his signature speed in the 49th minute on Saturday to net his fourth goal in three games before putting one on a platter for teammate Hamish Watson soon after.

The Phoenix overcame the loss of five international players to record back-to-back wins for the first time in 13 months, and their first road victory for the campaign.

The visitors took advantage of the free flowing affair in the Mariners' home for the night in Canberra, firing off seven shots on target compared to just two for the hosts.

Wellington coach Ernie Merrick described his attacking trio of Krishna, Watson and Roly Bonevacia as "first class" but was just as proud of his inexperienced line-up.

"Hamish did really well. Roy was on fire upfront and his pace is incredible. We knew that, so we'd set up for a counter attacking game," Merrick said.

"Our defence though, that was where the real inexperience was. Lui Italiano, that was his second game. Ryan Lowry, that's his first A-League game.

"Jacob Tratt's only played six and the left back hasn't played left back very often, Mark Ridenton. So with an experienced line-up at the back, we had to make sure we were very compact and we relied on fastbreaking and I thought Roy, Hamish and Roly were first class."

Wellington started underdogs in front of the 5497 at GIO Stadium, having lost regular first-teamers to New Zealand duty, including Kosta Barbarouses, Glen Moss and Andrew Durante.

But they made a mockery of having an understrength unit against a loose Mariners defence that struggled to contain the Phoenix's speed and wizardry in the front third.

Central Coast goalkeeper Paul Izzo had his hands full from start to finish, pulling off three classy saves in the opening 15 minutes, and watched a set piece crash against his posts.

Left back Scott Galloway also succumbed to a first-half hamstring strain.

The home side weren't without their own opportunities, with Fabio Ferreira twice cannoning free kicks into a wall before halftime, and Roy O'Donovan spurning a decent chance just after.

However, Wellington were in control for most of the match and edged ahead when Krishna flew onto a long ball from Watson, took a touch past an advancing Izzo and finished acutely.

The 29-year-old then returned the favour to Watson seven minutes later, latching onto a Finkler through-ball and teeing up a goal into an open net.

"It was probably the worst performance so far this season, certainly that first half," Mariners coach Paul Okon said.

"If it's one from six, you cop it on the chin, move forward and you try to make sure it doesn't happen. But tonight wasn't the level we expect and it needs to be better next week."

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