5 Jan 2009

Phoenix stay within touching distance of playoffs

5:18 am on 5 January 2009

Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz scored a double in Wellington's 3-0 home victory over the Newcastle Jets to keep the New Zealand A-League football side's finals hopes alive.

Leo Bertos opened the scoring after a lacklustre first half at Westpac Stadium with an ugly goal, bundling a cross over the line off his hip.

Goalkeeper Glen Moss was the hero for the home side, keeping a clean sheet despite at least four good saves in the first 45 minutes as the reigning champions fought to get off the bottom of the table.

The win moves the Phoenix to within a point of Queensland, who are in fourth with a game in hand.

Smeltz leads the golden boot rankings with 12 goals.