A 94th-minute goal from Bart Schenkeveld has seen Melbourne City snatch a 4-3 win over a 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers in a Hyundai A-League classic at AAMI Park.
In one of the games of the 2018/19 Season, the defender put away a towering header for his first Hyundai A-League goal to secure three points for the home side.
The Wanderers looked on course for a win that would have breathed new life into their season when they held a 3-2 lead just after the hour-mark.
But a red card to youngster Keanu Baccus swung the game in City’s favour, with Ritchie De Laet equalising six minutes from the end – his second goal of the night – before Schenkeveld’s late heroics.
The win will ensure City ends Round 15 in fourth spot, while the Wanderers’ slim finals hopes appear all but over.
Fans inside AAMI Park barely had time to take their seats before City were gift-wrapped the lead through De Laet after just 31 seconds.
The former Belgian international capitalised on some slack defending, swooping on a loose pass to round keeper Nick Suman and tap into an empty net.
The visitors did well to regroup after the early setback and were level on 28 minutes when Jaushua Sotirio won a penalty.
Bonevacia coolly slotted it past Eugene Galekovic to get on the scoresheet for a third successive game.
But Brattan ensured City would take a lead to the break with one of the goals of the season.
Receiving the ball 30 yards from goal, Brattan nutmegged former City attacker Nick Fitzgerald and then hit a vicious shot into the top corner.
Whatever Markus Babbel said at the break had the desired effect with the Wanderers turning a deficit into a 3-2 lead within 10 minutes of the resumption.
First teenage defender Tass Mourdoukoutas headed in from Jordan O’Doherty’s teasing cross for a maiden Hyundai A-League goal before Sotirio produced a wonderful curling finish into the top corner soon after.
Tempers flared after Sotirio’s goal with almost every player from each side involved in scuffle.
Baccus let his emotions spill over soon after, dismissed for a second yellow card after a clumsy challenge on Schenkeveld.
And City made the numerical advantage count to devastating effect.