Maclaren makes Hyundai A-League history as City pinch late win over Wanderers
Jamie Maclaren set a new Hyundai A-League record with another superb brace as Melbourne City ended their Western Sydney Wanderers hoodoo with a 3-2 win at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
After initially drawing City level from the penalty spot early in the second half, Maclaren then turned matchwinner in stoppage-time with another classy finish.
The Caltex Socceroos striker’s double means he has now scored a minimum of two goals in each of his last four Hyundai A-League appearances, the first time that’s ever happened in the competition.
And Maclaren’s brilliance allowed City to pick up just their second win in their last 12 visits to play the Wanderers in Sydney.
His 92nd-minute winner came at the end of a breathless match, where the Wanderers took a third minute lead via Kwame Yeboah.
Goals to Maclaren and Josh Brilliante – his first in the Hyundai A-League in more than two years – saw City take the lead with less than 20 minutes to go before Yeboah made it 2-2 with 10 minutes left.
Just as it looked like it would end all square, Maclaren popped up with the winner to take his tally for the campaign to nine goals in just four games.
City have now opened up a four-point lead at the top of the ladder ahead of a bye next weekend, although Sydney FC have two games in hand.
For the Wanderers, they have now fallen to back-to-back defeats and their first-ever at their new home ground.
Yeboah puts Wanderers in front…thanks to VAR
A great move by the home side as Mitch Duke’s lofted ball to the right is met by a sensational first time cross by Bruce Kamau.
Kamau’s pass is perfect for Yeboah to slam it into the roof of the net from close range.
While the assistant referee initially flagged for offside, replays showed Yeboah was on and VAR awarded Wanderers the goal.
City almost hit back with ‘brilliant’ strike
After a shaky first 10 minutes, City began to settle and were almost on level terms midway through the first half.
Josh Brillante had a little too much space just outside the box and let fly with a venomous drive which would have found the top corner if not for the intervention of Wanderers keeper Daniel Lopar who tipped it over the bar.
Bouzanis keeps City in the contest
The Wanderers almost doubled their lead just before the break, with City gloveman producing something special to deny Daniel Georgievski.
The impressive Kamau again caused havoc down the right, working some space in the corner before laying the ball back to his right-back.
And Georgievski cut back in on his weaker left foot and tried to bend one in the far corner from range, with Bouzanis making an incredible save to tip it away for a corner.
Maclaren equalises from the spot
Almost out of nothing City are awarded a penalty as referee Chris Beath spots a shirt tug in the area that denied Denis Genreau a chance to fully throw himself at a header.
Leading scorer Jamie Maclaren was tasked with the responsibility from the spot and he made no mistake to make it 1-1 for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Wanderland stunned as Brilliante strikes
Lachlan Wales won the ball on the left and found Jamie Maclaren in the box.
The City striker then summed up the situation perfectly, spotting the run of Brilliante and threading an excellent pass across the face of goal for the midfielder to tap in from close range.
Yeboah at the double as Wanderers fight back
What a game at Wandererland!
Substitute Alex Meier made an immediate impact as he got on the end of Daniel Georgievski’s cross, unselfishly heading across goal rather than look to score himself.
It was a wise move as the ball falls perfectly for Yeboah to hammer it past Bouzanis to complete his brace.
Maclaren wins it at the death
Substitute Lachlan Wales was again at the heart of it for City, doing superbly to find Maclaren inside the box and the in-form striker sent swept it inside the far post.