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Australian Football: Phoenix book finals spot

Wellington Phoenix have booked their place in the A-League finals following a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday night.

The Nix are priced at 16/1 to go on and win the grand final and their place in the top six comes as a big boost after they missed out last year.

Sydney FC miss out

The win means that Wellington now have an eight-point gap over Sydney FC who will miss out on finals even if they win their remaining two games of the regular season. It is the first time since 2015-16 they have missed out.

But all credit has to go to the Nix who have bounced back after missing out last season and boss Ufuk Talay is proud of his players.

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"I'm glad that we did it on our own, won the game tonight and didn't rely on other results to go our way," Talay told reporters after the win. "We've worked hard to get to this point. We took a lot of lessons from last season. The things that we could control, what we could do this season.

"I'm very proud of the group, of the staff, the club and what they've achieved."

Ball needs rest

Sam Sutton had given Wellington the lead after just three minutes before Tome Hemed equalised in the 29th minute. Reno Piscopo grabbed the winner on 65 minutes.

Wellington will now face Melbourne City as they look to climb to fourth on the ladder but they are likely to be without David Ball.

"If he needs an extra few days to be ready for finals football, we'll give him an extra few days," Talay added.

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