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Saturday, 25 November 2017 11:09 am

Sigmund’s last football battle has a disappointing end

Ben Sigmund walked off Westpac Stadium for the last time bloodied and battered – a representation of how the Wellington Phoenix fared this season.

The Phoenix lost 2-0 to the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday night, failing to send off the retiring Sigmund in style.

Sigmund received a rousing standing ovation from just over 10,000 fans as he left the field late in the second half to complete his eight season, 181 game career.

Long-time supporter Linda Dibble says he was a great example of what the Phoenix should be.

“He did all Phoenix fans proud and we will all miss his never-say-die attitude.”

Junior football referee Tom Day says he will miss him.

“’Siggy’ will always have a special place in my heart, he’s a legend of his generation.”

The Phoenix end their season in ninth place, only topping the Central Coast Mariners on the ladder.

They looked for a consolation win, but two goals scored by Brendon Šantalab in the first half quashed those hopes.

The match could have ended very differently if two strikes either side of half time had gone in.

Both shots hit the post, an illustration of how frustrating the season was for the Phoenix.

Fans were left to rue a poor campaign where the Phoenix only managed seven wins, but remained hopeful for a better showing next season.

Fan Tyler Schnell lamented a second-rate season but is looking forward to the Phoenix’s 10th season in the league.

“This was yet another disappointing loss to end a disappointing season. Still, I cannot wait to [Kosta] Barbarouses and [Gui] Finkler in action next season,” Schnell said, referring to the club’s recruits arriving for 2016-17.

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