You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Phoenix coach Merrick impressed by new duo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/07/2016 By Angelo Risso

Wellington Phoenix boss Ernie Merrick says new attacking midfielders Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses have slotted seamlessly into his side.

The recruits from Melbourne Victory starred in Phoenix's 2-1 win over Beijing BG in the Chinese capital, including a trademark Finkler free-kick.

All three goals came in the first half of a match marred by torrential rain and strong winds.

After leading early through Bu Xin, Beijing BG were pegged back by the Nix when All White star Barbarouses squared for Hamish Watson to tap home in the 15th minute.

Finkler then found the top-left corner from a 41st minute free-kick to put Wellington into the lead.

Beijing BG had chances to equalise after the break but were denied by two fine saves from goalkeeper Oliver Sail, standing in for an injured Glen Moss.

It was the first major pre-season game for the Phoenix, who have played three hit-outs against local teams.

The win means Wellington take the pre-season Capital Cup home to New Zealand.

"It was a great way for our new signings, Finkler and Barbarouses, to introduce themselves," Merrick said.

"Both had outstanding games."

Merrick said the pair fitted perfectly into his set-up and created several good goalscoring chances throughout the match.

He was also impressed by former New Zealand under-20 international Sail, who he labelled "an outstanding young goalkeeper."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon