Nix take the points

Ryo Nagai's first A-League goal could not prevent Glory from suffering a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, but results elsewhere this weekend mean that Alistair Edwards' men still remain firmly in the finals hunt.

Ryo Nagai's first A-League goal could not prevent Glory from suffering a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, but results elsewhere this weekend mean that Alistair Edwards' men still remain firmly in the finals hunt.

Glory will head into the final two rounds of the campaign just three points outside the top six, with a game in hand on Newcastle and will travel to Melbourne Victory next Saturday looking to build upon the positives that emerged from a spirited late comeback at nib Stadium.

Goals either side of the break from Paul Ifill and Stein Huysegems had put the visitors in control, but Nagai's 75th-minute reply sparked a period of sustained pressure from the hosts which a dogged and determined Phoenix side did well to survive.

Both sides had taken a while to settle after the opening whistle and the early exchanges were a touch scrappy, indeed it wasn't until the 18th minute that either goal was seriously threatened, Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund bravely putting his body on the line to block a goalbound effort from Chris Harold and Ryo Nagai firing his follow-up effort straight into the midriff of 'keeper Glen Moss.

Moss was then called into action again shortly after the half-hour mark, initially going full-length to punch out an inswinging free-kick from Scott Jamieson and then producing an even better save to parry a fierce shot from Matias Cordoba who had latched onto the loose ball just inside the box.

Just as the hosts seemed set to seize the initiative, however, the visitors struck and it came as no surprise that Paul Ifill was the man to make the breakthrough.

The English midfielder had already caused Glory plenty of problems down the left flank and he was in the right place at the right time when Jeremy Brockie got clear and bore down on goal.

The league's joint-leading scorer took the selfish option and shot from an acute angle, but Danny Vukovic's right hand deflected the ball into Ifill's path and he made no mistake, toe-poking home from close range to bag his third goal of the season.

The hosts wasted no time dwelling on that shock set-back, however and created two decent chances to equalise before the break, only for Moss to again come to his side's rescue.

Firstly, he got down smartly to keep out a low drive from his All Whites colleague Shane Smeltz and moments later, had his palms stung by Liam Miller who tried his luck from the edge of the box as Glory finished the opening period on the front foot.

Much like the first-half, the second was something of a slow burner and unfortunately for Glory, when it did burst into life, it was the visitors who initially provided the fireworks by doubling their advantage.

67 minutes had elapsed when the lively Brockie picked up possession in the left channel and whipped in a teasing cross which was perfectly flighted for the onrushing Huysegems who powered an unstoppable header past Vukovic.

Just as they had when Phoenix scored their opener, however, Glory responded positively and this time, managed to find a way past Moss.

The tireless Steven McGarry was the architect, standing up a deep cross to Nagai at the back post and the popular Japanese showed great athleticism and bravery to get above Manny Muscat and head across goal into the far corner of the net.

With the home fans upping the decibel level, the men in purple responded by throwing everything at Phoenix as full-time loomed and only some desperate defending kept them at bay.

And when the yellow and black wall was finally breached by substitute Travis Dodd, he found himself foiled by the over-worked Moss who blocked his close-range effort to ensure that Wellington would chalk up only their third ever victory in Perth.