2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Tomer Hemed (39')
  • Ulises Dávila (56')
  • Curtis Good (17')
  • Jamie Maclaren (45')
  • Marco Tilio (83')

Melbourne City edge Wellington Phoenix in five-goal thriller

Melbourne City rediscovered their winning form with a 3-2 victory but only after Wellington Phoenix twice drew level in a hugely entertaining A-League contest.

Teenage substitute Marco Tilio grabbed the winner seven minutes from the end in a match littered with goalmouth scrambles and near-misses at Wollongong's WIN Stadium.

The win lifted last season's runners-up back into second, two points adrift of surprise leaders Central Coast Mariners.

It was a welcome return to the winners' circle for City after their defeat last Thursday against Western United had ended a run of six straight victories.

City could have put the match out of sight by the midway point but had to make do with a 2-1 margin at the interval as Curtis Good and Jamie Maclaren netted either side of a goal from import Tomer Hemed.

Phoenix's Oliver Sail was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers and he somehow made a crucial block from Craig Noone.

It proved a key moment as Mexican Ulises Davila drew the New Zealanders level just moments later, 11 minutes after the second half restart.

It was a minor miracle that Phoenix remained in the contest at half-time with Sail called into action on several occasions and City denied a strong penalty claim after Florin Berenguer went to ground.

Maclaren displayed his predatory penalty area instincts with a superb finish just on half-time, while Good had earlier opened the scoring by outmuscling the defence for a close-range header from a corner.

Israeli Hemed finished off a neat team move on 39 minutes to keep the Phoenix in the contest.

Then it was the turn of Davila to fire home with a slide-rule finish inside the far post after the break.

Suddenly, the scoreboard as well as the momentum was even.

Phoenix created several half-openings and gave City several nervy moments as the match flowed from end to end.

In the end though, it was 19-year-old Tilio who was involved in the decisive moment of the match by heading home Connor Metcalfe's cross.