Sydney FC's Michael Zullo still aiming for Socceroos World Cup spot
It was far from a consummate demonstration of the A-League, and Michael Zullo only hopes he did enough to pique the interest of new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk.
The in-form Sydney FC left-back and 10-time Socceroo has his hopes pinned on a return to the international stage at the World Cup in Russia.
A shot at a first recall in five years wasn't helped by Wellington's abysmal display in Friday night's Sky Blues win.
Spotting quality amid a 4-0 thumping rife with Phoenix defensive errors was something Zullo conceded wouldn't be easy for the new coach.
"It was probably a game that would have been hard for him to judge the quality of the A-League on, because the gulf in quality between Wellington and us was huge," Zullo said.
"It probably wasn't the greatest game to watch.
"But we can only play who's out there in opposition to us, and we thoroughly dominated and got the result we needed.
"You can't really do much more than that."
Zullo is one of a few Sydney players in the frame for a Socceroos recall, with Josh Brillante, Alex Wilkinson and Luke Wilkshire all knocking on the door for March's away friendlies against Norway and Colombia.
The 29-year-old will be competing with overseas-based Alex Gersbach, Aziz Behich and James Meredith for the role but felt there was no disadvantage in doing so from Australia's domestic league.
"If you're playing in the A-League, especially in a World Cup year, it has to be something that is an aim for you," Zullo said.
"It's as a result of good performances with your club that you put yourself into contention for the national team.
"That step isn't as far away as it used to be -- the gap in quality between overseas-based Socceroos and domestic-based Socceroos isn't as large as it used to be.
"It gives opportunities for everyone playing week in, week out in the A-League. It gives them a chance to get back in there."
At AAMI Park on Saturday, Zullo will face another hopeful a decade his junior in Melbourne City's Daniel Arzani.
It's taken the 19-year-old five starts in a breakout January to be widely lauded as Australia's potential World Cup X-factor, particularly given his fearlessness and sharp passing and dribbling.
"I quite like him as a player," Zullo said. "I've watched him the last few weeks.
"It's always good to see some good young Australian players coming through because we seem to have a shortage of those at the moment, to be honest.
"But he's still very young in his career, in the A-League he's only five or six games deep."