Two games into a gruelling three-game road trip, Lia smashed home a stunning strike on eight minutes - just his 7th A-League goal - to put the visitors on the way to all three points.

The result opens up a 10 point gap between the top six and the rest of the pack, condemning Wanderers to a club record equaling five-game losing streak after they found themselves on the wrong end of a couple of key calls.

And with heatwave conditions starting to tell, the 33-year-old midfielder said Marco Kurz’s men were fortunate to walk away with the points at ANZ Stadium.

“To be honest I think we were a bit lucky,” he told Fox Sports. “I think we were pretty average tonight. I think that’s probably one of our worst performances.

“It was very humid in the first half and I know a lot of the boys found it very difficult to get around the pitch. But we won and I think good teams win ugly sometimes.

“You’d have to ask everyone individually but I felt pretty tired. The hot conditions and the amount of games we’ve had – it’s a pretty busy month.

“It was a hard game tonight. We’re really lucky and happy to get the three points.”

Lia said the performance was worse than last week’s 2-1 loss to Sydney FC.

“Tonight we were a little off the pace and I felt like we didn’t give enough pressure,” he added. “Last week wasn’t great either but I felt this was a little bit worse. But we won so…”

Man of the Match Craig Goodwin – who set up opener before scoring the winner just after the hour - said the Reds will need to play smarter and keep the ball, rather than trying to launch an attack with every transition.

For a young Wanderers outfit it was another blow as the side slips 13 points off a finals berth.

Roly Bonevacia’s stunning freekick equaliser might have given long suffering fans reason to hope but two major decisions went against Markus Babbel’s men.

There was more than a hint of offside in Goodwin’s goal, while the Red and Black were denied a penalty shout in the second half. The VAR was noticeably absent in the first case and waved away the second.