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Three Phoenix players sent off in loss
14:33 AEST Sun Aug 19 2012

The Wellington Phoenix have endured a spiteful pre-season match near Newcastle, having three players sent off in a 3-1 loss to A-League rivals the Jets.

Phoenix senior trio Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund and captain Andrew Durante were all shown red cards while the home side also had a player sent off in the match at Weston on Saturday night.

Midfielder Alex Smith gave the Phoenix an early lead after some nice build-up work from Paul Ifill but the match turned on its head midway through the first half.

Muscat retaliated to a hard tackle by Brazilian Tiago Calvano, resulting in both players being sent-off.

It sparked a lengthy brawl in front of the Newcastle bench involving players and reserves from both teams.

All Whites international Sigmund was shown a red card by referee Tim McGilchrist in the aftermath of the incident.

Newcastle took advantage of their one-man advantage as defender Craig Goodwin scored goals either side of halftime.

The Phoenix lost their third player when Durante retaliated to a tackle in the 63rd minute, which earned Newcastle's Scott Neville a yellow card.

Playing against eight men, Newcastle dominated the closing stages and were rewarded when Marko Jesic scored.

The Phoenix were to leave on Sunday for India, where they will play four more pre-season matches against Indian club opposition.