Sydney FC star Kosta Barbarouses has been the difference as the Sky Blues defeated Wellington 2-1 in their A-League encounter at Kogarah.
Sydney FC star Kosta Barbarouses eroded any doubts about his confidence levels by scoring twice in a 2-1 victory A-League win over Wellington.
The 30-year-old celebrated his first brace in two years against his former side at Kogarah, ending a dry spell of just one goal for the season for the league champions.
Pressure was mounting after scoring just once against Western United three weeks ago off a penalty, which ended a 15-game streak without a goal.
But the New Zealander settled into his role as the lead striker by showing his class with both goals in Monday night's win.
"It was very important, he only scored a penalty before this," said coach Steve Corica.
"I've always said he worked extremely hard for the team but obviously a striker needs to score and that's definitely good for his confidence.
"He took both of them well and I'm really pleased for him."
The first came off a supreme pass from Alexander Baumjohann, who had been elevated to the starting side for the first time this season.
Baumjohann gifted the ball perfectly to the right of the net in the 32nd minute with Barbarouses cutting his shot across the keeper to rebound off the post and score.
His second came midway through the second half, picking up a header from Jordan Swibel before overcoming three defenders to blast through his second goal.
The Nix showed big energy and rallied late with a goal to Ulises Davila in added time but sank to their third loss of what is shaping up as a difficult season for the Wollongong-based side.
Coach Ufuk Talay was once again left frustrated as chances weren't converted to points.
He said despite living away from home, the lack of home fans is their biggest challenge this season as they look for an edge to win tight matches.
"It does help, you look at the game yesterday with Central Coast against Western United," he said.
"The fans make a difference, they're the 12th man and the voice behind the team and that pushes the team as well.
"That's probably going to be one of our toughest challenges this season."
Meanwhile, the Sky Blues suffered an injury blow late in the match with fears for Chris Zuvela.
The 24-year-old went down clutching his left knee in the 83rd minute after spending just two minutes on the field.
He returned from a year on the sidelines with an ACL injury last season.
Sydney FC will play Western United on Saturday, while the Nix will face Central Coast at WIN Stadium on Sunday.